BOSSES at Hounslow's first polyclinic used the centre's official opening to hit back at claims it would threaten the future of West Middlesex Hospital.
David Quigley, NHS Hounslow's modernisation director, insisted the Isleworth hospital still had a major role to play in protecting the health of people across Hounslow and beyond.
He said the hospital would be at the centre of a new 'polysystem', serving people in the east of the borough, while the Heart of Hounslow polyclinic would be the first port of call for those in the west.
"To anyone who asks what's the future of West Middlesex Hospital, I would say it's key," he told the audience at last Friday's launch event. GP practices and the hospital are our [Heart of Hounslow] closest partners. Despite what you might hear, this is all about partner-ship."
He said there were 'some things the hospital is best at', like MRI scans, but other services could be provided elsewhere to speed up diagnosis.
His comments follow claims by campaign group Health Emergency that West Mid is one of several hospitals across the capital where ministers want to downgrade services as part of major changes to the NHS.
Opening the polyclinic in Bath Road, Ann Keen, junior health minister and MP for Brentford & Isleworth, said: "Having the opportunity to see a doctor from 8am to 8pm every day of the year is so important to all of us leading busy family lives.
"We're very fortunate to have the health system that we do. It does, of course, have problems, but what we see in our own area are new buildings and investment going on."