Children’s Health Cuts – A Bridge Too Far

Arthur Breens wrote  this letter that was published in the Ealing Gazette on 27/05/2016.

Well done the Gazette for reporting last week’s meeting at which NHS managers decided to close the children’s ward and children’s A&E at Ealing Hospital on 30 June 2016. Minor injuries only will be treated at the Urgent Care Centre. A&E child specialist staff will work at other sites.

The story around Samantha Phelps Schmidt (same issue) confirmed the doubts from the floor expressed by Ealing Healthwatch and Ealing Save Our NHS. Otherwise this meeting was tightly orchestrated by the chair and these 50 NHS managers (Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group) looked both uncomfortable and sheep-like.

Don’t trust this organisation to honestly and publicly monitor its own performance. Its level of self-interest and self-importance is high and its record poor. Remember it took a TV documentary to expose the inadequate monitoring of Ealing’s Urgent Care Centre by the CCG. The poor performance of A&E in our wider area after the closure of A&E s at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex has been well documented by Mansfield and a Hanwell resident but denied and spun by the chair of this group.

If whistleblowers still face problems in the NHS then we must demand rigorous independent performance monitoring of these major changes to Ealing children’s services and the promise to reverse these “bridge too far” cuts if required.  


Arthur Breens