Ealing Save our NHS newsletter – 26/10/18

Latest figures show community care can’t replace beds at Ealing Hospital


Winter is coming and already there are fears of another crisis. Ealing Hospital is readying itself with an extra 15 beds being brought in to cope with much needed demand for beds. As our latest story reveals, it is not just Winter that shows yet again the need for both Ealing & Charing Cross Hospitals A&Es and their beds to remain open. Please read on….


Rise in emergency admissions shows health bosses plans are failing


Ealing’s health bosses (Ealing CCG) plans to downgrade Ealing & Charing Cross Hospitals have taken a further knock, according to the latest figures on emergency admissions to North West London hospitals. The ‘Shaping a Health Future’ closure plans, which entail both Ealing & Charing Cross losing their A&Es and up to 600 beds, are dependent on  emergency admissions across North West London hospitals being brought down by a massive 99,000 per year by 2025. This reduction is supposedly to be achieved by treating people in the community and thus preventing admissions. So what do the figures show about how well they are doing?


Not well at all, according to the latest figures revealed under duress by Freedom of Information requests. In the last 5 years emergency admissions to Ealing Hospital actually increased from 33,000 per year to 34,000.  Across North West London, emergency admissions increased from 167,000 per year to 181,000 during the same 5 year period.


Of course local health bosses, Ealing CCG, must know their plans are not working but despite that they are still pressing ahead with their costly and extremely risky tendering out of our community health services. They vainly hope that this ten-year, £1.3 billion contract to be run by a ‘single provider’, which as readers know will be multiple providers, will magically reduce emergency admissions by tens of thousands by ‘transforming’ community health care.  Where, we wonder, will all the staff come from to treat people in the community given that there is a 30% vacancy rate for community nurses in Ealing?


Winter is almost upon us and how will the NHS cope?


Already warnings are being made that the Winter Crisis could be even worse than last year. The Government has responded by saying it’s giving local authorities £240 million extra this winter for social care to alleviate pressure on the NHS, by getting people out of hospital and freeing up beds. £145 million has also been provided for capital projects and equipment. So will it work?  According to ‘NHS Providers’, the body representing acute, ambulance, community health & mental health services, this new money will help but is likely to be undermined by increasing demand, worsening A&E performances and a yawning gap in nurse and other frontline NHS staff numbers. On top of this there is a gaping hole in the number of nurses working in the community too. No doubt our valiant NHS Staff will once again do their best to cover the gaps and keep us safe but they deserve so much better.


Read article here


4-hour A&E waiting time target scrapped for this Winter


Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt scrapped the 4 hour A&E waiting time performance target earlier this year. Struggling NHS Trusts were hard pressed to meet the 95% target, in fact they only met the 4 hour target on average last year about 60% of the time. No doubt many of them will be relieved, but without an effective measurement that highlights how each Trust is doing it will be much easier to hide failings and the impact of underfunding and cuts. One of Jeremy Hunts more mad cap ideas, currently on hold, was a plan to introduce an appointments system for attending A&E – surely it’s not called an accident & ‘emergency’ for nothing!


Do you have a story about delayed or poor referrals for treatment?


We regularly hear stories of delayed referrals and people wanting Ealing Hospital but being sent to Northwick Park or Central Middlesex instead.  Although under the NHS Charter patients have a legal right to choose their hospital, in practice bodies like Ealing’s Referral ‘Facilitation’ Service, run by private company Optum takes that right away.  


If you have a story to tell about your GP’s referral for your treatment we would love to know –  if you were referred to a consultant? was your referral knocked back? did you get the place of choice? was there a long delay, and did the referral go through as discussed with your GP?


Sarah Boston from ESON would like to use these stories as examples, along with the research she has been doing on patient’s rights for an article she is writing.  


If you have a story to share please contact Sarah at sarahboston44(at)icloud.com


Out on the Streets with our Stall & petitions:We will running Street Stalls on the Saturdays below with our latest leaflet and our ‘Stop the outsourcing of Ealing NHS Services’ petition. It would be great if you can spare some time to help.  We are aiming to get as many signatures as possible over the next few weeks. You can also pick up one of our excellent ‘Save Ealing Hospital’ posters for your window and one of our car stickers.

This Saturday 27 Oct: Street Stall in Pitshanger Lane, 11.00 -1.00pm

Saturday 10 November: Street Stall, Southall (opp Town Hall), 12.00-2.00pm


Reclaim Social Care Conference – 17 November – time for a campaign


This very welcome conference organised by Health Campaigns Together, aims to kick start a much needed major campaign to reverse privatisation and secure quality, stable, publicly funded and accountable social care services for all.


There will be speakers from Health Campaigns Together, MPs, the unions, Disabled People against the Cuts, National Pensioners Convention, Relatives and Residents Association, leading social care policy experts and more with plenty of time for discussion and debate.


Sat 17 November 2018, 11:00 – 16:30 Carrs Lane Conference Centre, Carrs Lane, Birmingham, B4 7SX


More details here


A couple of fun things on the NHS:


22 October – 3 November: Check Up – Our NHS at 70  


Mark Thomas (comedian, presenter, political satirist and journalist) will be performing  at The Arcola Theatre in Dalston.  The show, directed by Nicholas Kent, is based on a series of interviews with leading experts and residencies in hospitals and surgeries.-  Mark is always well worth a watch!

For more information and tickets see the Arcola Theatre’s website


Tuesday 6th November:  “Happy Birthday NHS” 


In this show, Dr Phil Hammond, Physician, Broadcaster, campaigner & comic charts the course of the NHS from 1948 to as long as she lasts. Come and cheer the heroes, boo the villains and look to the future of robot surgeons, Fitbit nurses and iPhone GPs. 


It starts at 8.00pm at the Twickenham Exchange and you can book here:



Thanks for your support


Best Regards


Eve Turner

Secretary, Ealing Save Our NHS