Save Our Hospitals is a resident-led campaign group formed in July 2012. We are FIGHTING against the NHS plans to DEMOLISH Charing Cross Hospital and downgrading of our A&Es( Hammersmith, Charing Cross, Ealing and Central Middlesex Hospitals)
Friday, 7 November 2014
Waiting times soar at West Middlesex Hospital after closure of A&E wards in west London
Hounslow and Richmond councils claim the figures show the hospital is feeling the impact of closures elsewhere, but West Mid says there is no link
West Middlesex Hospital
A&E waiting times at West Middlesex Hospital have rocketed since the closure of nearby emergency wards, but hospital chiefs say the two are not believed to be linked.
The number of patients waiting more than four hours in the A&E department of the hospital in Twickenham Road, Isleworth, has nearly doubled since September 10, when emergency wards at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals closed for good.
In the month leading up to September 10, an average of 70 patients a week were kept waiting longer than the government target time.
Since then that figure has leapt to 136 per week - an increase of almost 100 per cent.
The new figures were jointly highlighted by Hounslow and Richmond councils, which claim they prove health reforms are increasing the demand for services at West Mid.
Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran said: "I'm deeply concerned about these figures and I fear things may get worse when Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals close their A&Es over the next few years.
"It's crucial NHS London ensures West Middlesex Hospital has enough resources to cope now and in the future from A&E closures."
Nick True, his counterpart at Richmond Council, said: "Richmond and Hounslow councils will continue to work with NHS partners to develop ways to cope with the added pressures on West Middlesex Hospital which includes developing community based services to prevent unnecessary visits to A&E.
"Both councils are united in their determination to fight for a strong West Middlesex Hospital to serve the needs of residents who require hospital care."
The emergency wards at Hammersmith Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital, in Harlesden, closed as part of a major overhaul of NHS services in north west London.
The team behind the Shaping a Healthier Future programme claim it will save lives by improving care in the community, closer to people's homes, and concentrating specialist care at a smaller number of centres.
But critics of the changes say people could be put at risk because they will have further to travel for care in an emergency.
A spokesman for West Mid said: "Over the past few months we have seen an overall increase in demand for our emergency services, but we believe this is attributable to a generalised seasonal increase being experienced, which we would normally expect. No direct link with the recent local closures has been established.
"We have a robust winter plan in place and work closely with partner organisations including the London Ambulance Service and other acute trusts to ensure that we maintain service resilience."
He added that the hospital had already taken steps to improve emergency and unscheduled care, following discussions about the impact of changes to health care in the area, and that this work was ongoing.