NHS postpones ‘unrealistic’ plan cut 500 hospital bedsSun 04 Nov 2018
The announcement came after a report commissioned by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan earlier this month, said that plans ‘to reduce the use of hospitals and cut bed numbers were not credible on the scale proposed’.
NHS chiefs have also admitted that hospital bed numbers in the region have increased since 2012, due to demand pressures, while at the same time publicly maintaining that its plan to cut 500 beds at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals was safe.
The Mayor’s report, which was produced by independent health experts The King’s Fund, also criticised the speed in which plans were pulled together and the lack of engagement with local authorities, staff and the public.
Cllr Julian Bell, leader of the council said: "I am pleased that the NHS has finally recognised that it is not safe to take these beds out of the system. Everything our Save Our Hospitals campaign has said for the past six years has been vindicated."
"While there is still a long way to go before we can be sure services are saved, I want to thank our local campaigners who have marched, signed petitions, taken part in surveys and shared their opposition to scrapping essential health services. We know nine out of 10 local people are opposed to these plans but without this public pressure I fear plans could have been railroaded through."
Cllr Binda Rai, Cabinet member for health and adults’ services said: "An axe has been hanging over our A&Es for the last six years."
"The staff working in these hospitals, the public and the council need assurances that in any new plan that they will be saved from closure. We also want to know that service won’t be run down through lack of investment and then closed via the backdoor. Regardless of your postcode, everyone in the region should have the same access to high-quality healthcare that our NHS is known for throughout the world.""In NHS planning terms – five years isn’t a long time. There are many questions that need answers and so I will be pressing the NHS to meet with us and explain in more detail the implications of its announcement. Alongside the community campaign, Ealing Council will continue to fight to protect our local NHS services including A&Es at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals."
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