CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the news that the closure of Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E will be delayed due to a review.
The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts met on February 19 and chose option A of the Shaping a Healthier Future plans for emergency departments in north and north west London, which would mean the emergency department at the hospital, in Park Royal, would close.
The hospital would be downgraded to a local and elective hospital.
However, Ealing Council has asked the decision to be referred to the secretary of state Jeremy Hunt, which means the implementation will be delayed and the decision could be overturned altogether, the council leader said.
Sarah Cox, who has been involved in the campaign in Brent and across the area, said: “This is good news for Central Middlesex as it means they will be looking again at the Shaping a Healthier Future plans.
“It will have an impact on every area as Northwick Park Hospital will be under tremendous pressure if Ealing goes.
“The campaign is far from over and campaigners in Hammersmith are continuing as well. We are campaigning together and all the A&E departments rely on each other. Central Middlesex is used by Ealing residents as well, some from the poorest areas.”
Ealing Council leader Julian Bell said: “The council’s referral will mean that these plans will now be examined by an independent panel appointed by the government.
“As the plans do not meet the four basic tests set before hospital services can be reconfigured, we believe Jeremy Hunt will have no choice but to overturn the NHS decision.”
A statement on the Shaping a Healthier Future website said: “Ealing Council has asked the Secretary of State for Health to consider the programme. This is a shame, as this process normally takes a few months and will delay implementation of much needed improvements to local services, which the majority of clinicians, local GPs and other local councils want to see go ahead.
“However, the NHS will continue what planning it can and remains committed to working with Ealing Council and further developing its local community health strategies, of which Ealing Hospital will be a critical part.”
On Monday, the Health and Adult Social Services Standing Scrutiny Panel met to discuss the issue.
A large protest will be held in Ealing on April 27 in opposition to the plans.