Fears West Middlesex Hospital could lose more than 100 beds
West Middlesex Hospital could lose more than a third of its beds if proposals from NHS North West London are brought in.
A recent survey from NHS North West London, entitled Shaping a Healthier Future, proposes the closure of four accident and emergency units – in Ealing, Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals, and a large scale diversion of patients away from hospital inpatient and outpatient treatment.
But proposals to axe almost 1,000 hospital beds across north-west London by 2015 – including the loss of 119 beds from West Middlesex Hospital – were not included in the consultation.
This recent discovery has brought forward fresh doubts from public health experts over the viability and impact on patients from the controversial plans.
AWest Middlesex Hospital spokeswoman said: “The NHS North West London proposals anticipate changes in the way healthcare is provided which mean patients will be cared for and supported at home.
“When they go into hospital, their stay will be shorter than is currently the case.
“We will continue to plan and adjust our number of beds according to anticipated demand.”
London Health Emergency director Dr John Lister said West Middlesex’s attitude was “incredibly bizarre”.
He said: “I’m not at all reassured by that. Do we know how these people are going to be looked after outside of hospital?”
Referring the NHS North West London’s plans, he said: “This is a shockingly irresponsible plan, which is effectively being smuggled through without proper public debate. We have now heard the grave concerns of public health professionals – the very people whose job it is to take care of the health of whole populations – who fear that the system just will not be able to cope.
“We urge local health oversight and scrutiny committees, clinical commissioning groups and the primary care trusts to step in and force a re-opening of consultation and a proper debate with all the facts on the table for people to see.”