An MP has vowed to fight to extend the opening hours at a busy clinic in a bid to ease the pressure on Northwick Park Hospital.

Gareth Thomas, Labour’s MP for Harrow West, announced at the annual general meeting of South Harrow and Roxeth Residents’ Association last week that he is starting a campaign to increase the hours that Alexandra Avenue Health and Social Care Centre operates.

The clinic used to be open for patients as a ‘walk-in centre’ for treatment from 8am until 8pm throughout the year, but three years ago had its opening hours reduced to close at 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

Mr Thomas said: “Health services in Harrow are under real strain, with the deputy chief executive of Northwick Park Hospital recently admitting that they are 80 to 100 beds short.

On the campaign trail: Gareth Thomas MP
 

“One of the reasons for the increasing pressure on the A&E department at Northwick Park was the decision three years ago to reduce the opening hours at Alexandra Avenue walk-in centre.

“That is why I have called on the government to look again at Harrow’s NHS funding formula, and am starting a campaign to extend the opening hours at Alexandra Avenue walk-in centre.”

Mr Thomas raised his concerns in Parliament about the increasing pressure on the A&E department at Northwick Park, following the closures of the same departments at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith Hospital.

In August, the trust that runs Northwick Park was warned it must improve in a report by the Care Quality Commission , and members of the Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will report their progress to Harrow Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday.

The decision now rests with Harrow CCG.