Last week Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to continue with plans to close the Paediatric Ward at Ealing Hospital, despite high local birth rates. The closure is scheduled for June 2016 and would mean that blue light ambulances carrying children would no longer attend Ealing hospital.
Local health campaigners denounced the decision. Sarah Boston, from Ealing Save Our NHS
said that Hospital A&Es should have paediatric consultants. “The fact is that most children are taken to A&Es by their parents not by an ambulance.” she said. “If they close our much needed paediatric ward, children needing emergency treatment would have to wait for assessment at Ealing, then wait to be taken elsewhere, then finally treated by paediatric consultants.”
Campaigner Oliver New added “Health chiefs are simply in denial about Ealing Hospital. The truth is they are ignoring local needs to prepare the ground for closure of Ealing A&E, as laid out in the so-called Shaping a Healthier Future Plan. The Independent Healthcare Commission has just concluded that this Plan will cost £3.2 billion pounds for a far worse service. But the Clinical Commissioning Group is refusing to discuss it, the policy seems to be head down, carry on regardless and don’t discuss the Commission report.”
The CCG say that after the children’s’ ward is closed, 73% of children’s treatment will remain at Ealing. However, campaigners point out this would consist of less serious services. “They are playing with statistics”, said Mr New, “The specialist paediatric treatment that the CCG wants to take away from Ealing isn’t really comparable with the outpatient treatments that would be left. They need to stop what they are doing and review the whole programme of cuts.”