The hospital closure team driving the ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ proposals have reached conclusions that are wrong and dangerous.
I am a veteran because I have attended more than seven of their meetings.
At the first two at Lord’s I listened and became wooed.
At Wembley a GP I sat next to said, “They are just closing hospitals in poor areas.”
He was angry. After that my views gradually changed. He was right.
Aren’t we all called to champion the poor? For the rest of us it is estimated that nearly 6,000 medical jobs will be lost in this area by 2015.
How is that going to shape my healthier future?
Unfortunately I took a short break for three nights and missed the phone call inviting me to tell the independent reconfiguration panel my thoughts on the flawed consultation, the misrepresentation and the dangers of these proposals.
I hope they read this. It is just vandalism to move or close Clayponds Hospital near me.
For the rest; the whole business looks like a Luftwaffe raid with fewer hospitals, doctors, beds and nurses left after the bombers have passed.
20mph limit would save young lives
Your front page headline, Three-year-old killed crossing the road to play (Gazette, July 19), was shocking and sad, as was your paper’s observation that there had been four deaths on London’s roads in 11 days.
A significant factor in these deaths is the speed at which vehicles are allowed to travel in residential areas.
Research by the British Medical Journal has shown that 20mph speed zones are associated with a 41.9 per cent reduction in casualties, with the largest reductions being in death and serious injuries to young children.
Pitshanger in North Ealing recently became a 20mph speed zone. However, residents of Arlington Road in West Ealing did not get a positive response from Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, when we petitioned for a 20mph speed zone at the last council scrutiny meeting.
It seems unfair that some residential areas should be 20mph whereas others are not.
Residents across Ealing should put pressure on Cllr Mahfouz to introduce more 20mph speed zones – a measure that would make Ealing safer and more pleasant for everyone who lives here.
Pavements are for pedestrians
Your anonymous correspondent (Wheeled hazards on pavements, Letters, July 26) resorts to irony to plead for ‘a small section of the pavement in Northfields Avenue sectioned off for pedestrians.’
If only the Met Police and Ealing Council would enforce the 1835 Highways Act under which pavement cycling is a criminal offence, pedestrians on Ealing’s pavements would all be a lot safer.
Ealing’s energetic promotion of cycling as an environmentally-friendly and healthy form of transport seems deliberately to obscure the fact that cycles are ‘carriages’ in law and as such are confined to the roadway.
Their propaganda totally fails to draw attention to Rule 64 of the Highway Code – you must not cycle on the pavement.
People who take the national ‘Bikeability’ course and those hiring Boris Bikes in London are only told that they ‘should not’ cycle on the pavements.
Adult pavement cyclists pretend to be ignorant of the law, and react aggressively and abusively to anyone who tries to tell them they are acting antisocially and, indeed, criminally.
Ealing Council should mount a Pavements for Pesestrians campaign to counter the dangerous effects of their latest cycling promotion campaign.
Children under 10 who use bikes or scooters on the pavement cannot be prosecuted for doing so – only because they are under the age of criminal responsibility.
We mustn’t give in to cyclist bullies
I too feel strongly about pavement cycling, as well as the prevalence of scooters (Letters, July 26).
I have approached Ealing Council to ask about their policy on pavement cycling and they seem to have no idea about the legal position!
Is it a police matter? If pavement cycling is illegal, as I imagine is the case, why are there no notices anywhere in the borough to say so?
Meanwhile the custom is becoming more common, many people step aside for the cyclists, and there are very few who remonstrate with them.
I sometimes think I am conducting a one-woman campaign.
NHS shake-up is scaring elderly
As an elderly resident living on my own in Hanwell, the planned closure of Ealing A&E and the downgrading of the hospital to an urgent care unit offering limited care is frightening.
The time it takes to travel to Northwick Park on public transport, involving many changes, is challenging for any elderly person. Few can afford the cost of a taxi, let alone the return fare.
Will we pensioners have to choose between getting to a hospital appointment or paying fuel bills?
For more serious situations, heart attacks in particular, we are told getting to A&E fast can be a matter of life and death. Ambulance journey time is crucial. Crucial too, we know from the experience of others close to us, is the fast treatment of stroke victims.
Limiting the damage a stroke can cause not just improves the quality of life of the stroke sufferer, but reduces the cost to the NHS of after care.
My fears, I know, are shared by other older people in the area. We have been asked by Ealing Council, through cards delivered through our doors, to send our views to the panel considering the closure of Ealing Hospital.
From talking to friends and acquaintances in the area we know that the impact the planned closures will have on our lives will be to cause stress, distress, reduced quality of life and, we fear, some deaths that could have been prevented.