A recent review by the King’s Fund pointed to growing concerns about how the Â£20 billion productivity challenge will affect the NHS, which must be delivered by 2015. There is already growing pressure on patient care with the number of patients waiting longer then four hours in A&E at its highest point since 2004/5, increased trolley waits in A&E, waiting times for operations, and pressure from emergency admissions. Over 4,000 nurses have been lost in the NHS since the coalition government took over.
Londoners are also facing increased demand on other emergency services:
- London Ambulance Service will lose Â£53million (19%) of it’s budget by 2015/16, resulting in 890 job cuts, of which 560 will be frontline staff
- The London Fire Brigade is likely facing the loss of up to 30 stations, 30 appliances and hundreds of firefighters in light of Â£65million of cuts it must make this year and next year
- The Metropolitan Police have already lost 1,777 police officers and 1,800 PCSOs in the past two years. With a Â£540million budget black-hole this will increase
Local Assembly Member Murad Qureshi AM, said:
“We face unprecedented cuts to the provision of our health care in North West London. The closure of these A&Es will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on the A&E departments that will remain open and it will stretch resources and staff especially when the capital’s population is increasing. This will mean that by 2020 the remaining A&Es will have to cover an extra 120,000 residents each. This is yet more evidence of how patients are paying the price for the Government’s mismanagement of our NHS.
“This is not about politics, but about ensuring that we are preserving the NHS as an institution to pass on to the next generation. Londoners face being caught in a pincer of far fewer A&Es and a shrunken ambulance service. Across <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> we are seeing local residents campaign against these proposals, yet the Mayor of London is nowhere to be seen. He says that it’s nothing to do with him, but that hasn’t stopped him repeatedly campaigning to reduce the top rate of tax for the very richest.”
1. Murad Qureshi AM is a London Wide Assembly Member.
2. The 32 A&E’s served a population of 8.17million Londoners, an average of 255,000 people each. Reducing to 24 A&Es will mean they have to cover 340,000 each, with <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place>’s population due to rise to 9million by 2020. This will increase the number of people each A&E is due to cover to 375,000 residents – an increase of 120,000 for each A&E. This assumes that no further closures take place.
3. North West London is currently in the following stages of restructuring: Shaping a healthier future. Consultation closed 8th October on plans to restructure facilities at nine hospitals so only 5 would in future provide full A&E, emergency surgery, maternity and inpatient paediatric services.