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Ealing Hospital: Closure of children's inpatient ward and A&E led to 'improvements to care', NHS report suggests

Council leader Julian Bell disagreed with the alleged "improvements to care" outlined in the report

Planned changes to Ealing Hospital's children's services in 2016 “resulted in improvements to care”, an NHS report suggests.

The report, published by the NHS in north-west London, evaluated the changes to children's services over the past year following the move from six hospitals with children's wards to five.

The new way of caring for children included the closure of the children's inpatient ward and children's A&E at Ealing Hospital and the addition of extra capacity to other nearby hospitals.

Closures were “carried out safely”, according to an NHS spokesman, and improvements included four new Paediatric Assessment Units opening which saw and treated almost 9,000 children.

On top of this, 90 extra nurses were recruited, the five remaining children's A&E departments were refurbished or expanded, and the number of children who needed to be moved to a hospital outside of the area almost halved.

Dr Abbas Khakoo, medical director for the Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for Paediatrics Programme, said there are now more resources in place for children.

“We know that changing services is controversial," he said.

"But the NHS work very hard to make sure that children and their families get the best care possible when they really need it.

"One year on, we know that there are now more expert staff in place, for more hours, to look after the sickest children.”

Ealing Hospital is to receive a cash injection of more than £600,000(Image: Ealing Gazette)

Dr Mohini Parmar, Chair of Ealing CCG, added: “This report shows that Ealing families should carry on bringing their children to the urgent care centre at Ealing Hospital and be confident that there is more specialist help on hand now across NW London if their child needs it.

"I would also remind residents that adults can continue to use Ealing Hospital’s A&E as normal."

The GP-led urgent care centre at Ealing Hospital remains open 24/7 and treats the majority of children who need to be seen.

However, since the report was published, leader of Ealing Council Julian Bell has slammed claims that Ealing Hospital services are improving.

Responding to the claims of improved children's care, Cllr Bell said: “It beggars belief that anyone can claim that Ealing hospital is improving as the government close it piece by piece.

"The fact that we have some of the worst waiting times in the country and children and parents have to travel significantly further for emergency care is just the tip of the iceberg.

"I urge all residents to join me for the ‘Save Our Hospitals’ rally on Ealing Common on September 30 to show the government we want Ealing Hospital services to stay open.”

Amidst fears of the closure of Ealing's A&E, a petition was set up to prevent any further cuts in services.

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