At last we have an opportunity to get out on the streets again, celebrating the 72nd Birthday of our NHS and raising our banners in support of Ealing Hospital as part of a weekend of events
Ealing Hospital services have still not been restored and around the country there are stories of A&Es being closed, ward and bed closures, mergers and more, all under cover of Covid – 19. How temporary or permanent will these be? Certainly campaigners up and down the country won’t just stand by or be hoodwinked by NHS bosses and we hope you will support us all the way.
Please join us celebrating our NHS and standing up for Ealing Hospital:
We have certainly missed being able to be out on the streets fighting for our NHS, so what better time than on its 72nd Birthday. Along with campaigners from Keep Our NHS Public groups around the country we will be outside our Hospital on what is going to be a NHS Birthday weekend.
There will be banners, placards, some speeches and a few of our famous NHS songs, but sadly no cake this time, at least not a real one. It is a new experience organising a socially distanced gathering, but we are sure we can do it safely, and would ask you to please wear a mask.
Please feel free to bring your own placards if you wish.
It would be lovely if you can join us and circulate details of our event – our colourful leaflet is also available here. Among other things, we need to highlight the disgraceful attitude to the high number of BAME deaths and the needs of the local community including in Southall.
Sunday 5th July is the 72nd anniversary of the founding of our NHS. A coalition of national campaigns have organised an online rally at 3:30 PM to say, ‘Our NHS deserves better’.
During the coronavirus crisis in 2020, NHS and Social Care workers have been called upon to work on the frontline to keep us safe. They have often had to work without proper resources and PPE, within an already failing system. Many have been forced to sacrifice their lives. In the UK we have now reached the frightening number of excess deaths linked to coronavirus of 64,000 (up to 28 May 2020), the second-highest death toll in the world. The NHS deserves better, we all deserve better.
You can join the Rally on either Facebook here or YouTube here:
Friday 3rd July – London – Candlelit Vigil: To open the weekend’s events, on Friday 3rd Keep Our NHS Public are holding a socially distanced vigil in Central London to mark the lives that have been lost to the pandemic in recent months. This will be a quiet and dignified event.
During the height of the Coronavirus pandemic some pretty drastic service changes were made at Ealing Hospital to enable staff to cope with the number of patients and to bolster Northwick Park.
Operating theatres were closed, emergency surgery was suspended and ambulances with trauma & orthopaedics emergencies were diverted to Northwick Park. The Intensive Care Units was reduced from 18 to 6 beds and critical care equipment was sent to Northwick Park.
Ealing A&E has remained open 24/7 but there has been mounting concerns about it operating without the back-up of emergency surgery.
ESON, hospital staff and our local MPs have been stepping up the pressure to reinstate all these services. We have been lobbying the senior bosses at London North West Healthcare University Trust (LNWH) who run Ealing Hospital as well as the North West London NHS leaders who are running the show.
YOU CAN READ OUR MOST RECENT LETTER TO THE HOSPITAL TRUST HERE
This mounting pressure on hospital bosses is having an effect as they recently announced that emergency surgery will be re-instated at the end of July – but only from 8.00am-8.00pm.
This is a start, but what about overnight? It also falls short of reinstating Trauma & Orthopaedic surgery, emergency gynaecology and the lost ICU beds which Ealing needs now!
Ealing MPs step up to defend Ealing Hospital
Following a briefing by ESON, we are delighted that all 3 Ealing MPs have written a joint letter to the LNWH Trust and NWL NHS expressing concerns that the ‘temporary changes’ made at Ealing Hospital due to Covid -19 must not become permanent and become a new version of the hated ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ plans that would have closed our A&E and much more. We look forward to hearing a response to their questions from health bosses.
NWL NHS bosses respond to ESON:
NWL bosses recently published a ‘Covid-19 Recovery Plan’. Some things seem to be here to stay such as digital/virtual appointments with GPs, outpatients and mental health services. The future of critical care is to be expanded at larger sites – this means Northwick Park, but the future of smaller sites like Ealing is unclear.
There ‘plan’ states that Ealing Hospital has only ‘temporarily’ lost overnight emergency surgery, so we wrote to ‘update’ them and call for a return of all the services that had in fact been cut.
In their reply to us, they claim ‘there will be a very strong future for Ealing Hospital’ (we wonder if they mean ‘strong’ in meeting local needs or to suit NWL needs!) They also say they will be ‘refurbishing the vacant and ‘stand alone’ maternity block at Ealing Hospital to provide safe surgical capacity for the future’ – likely to be a six to nine month programme. But what will happen in the meantime?
There is much talk about working with the public, drawing up an ‘Involvement Charter’ and other means of ‘engaging’. The history of the NHS working with the public in Ealing is not good!
PLEASE HELP US STAND UP FOR EALING HOSPITAL:
You can help us in a number of ways, but we welcome other suggestions.
Please join us on Saturday 4th July outside Ealing Hospital and spread the word.
Send our Newsletter to friends and family
Like our Facebook Page and share our stories
Watch out for NHS ‘Engagement’ events, forums and surveys, usually run by North West London NHS Public Relations staff. Make sure they hear that you are opposed to downgrading Ealing Hospital and want our services back.
If you are involved in any community groups please make sure they know what is happening to our hospital.
Contact your local Councillors and MP to show your concern.
It is easy to think that Ealing Hospital is alone in getting cut, but sadly we aren’t.
There is a pattern emerging of cuts and closures opposed by local people and campaigners being made permanent using Covid-19 safety concerns. A&Es have closed, children wards, beds and hospital services ‘temporarily merged’.
According to the excellent and free online magazine ‘The Lowdown’, 37,000 beds are currently unoccupied, but nevertheless NHS England is focused on contracting out work to private hospitals!
‘The Lowdown’ story focuses on 4 areas; Ealing, Grantham, Chorley and Cheltenham
It is nice to see Ealing in the news and our campaign quoted.
A recent article by Diane Peacock in ‘the Lowdown’ raises some very important questions that need to be answered both nationally and by local NHS and councils.
Diane Peacock, the author states that – The Government is ultimately responsible for failing to identify and prioritise the acute needs of this highly vulnerable sector in time to minimise avoidable harm. Both the timing and huge numbers of excess deaths of care home residents in care homes and in hospitals graphically reveal and discredit the Government’s claim that “right from the start” they “tried to throw a protective ring around care homes”.
However Diane believes that it is not acceptable for CCGs (local NHS bosses) and local authorities to relinquish responsibility by saying they were following government guidelines. The Government, NHS bodies and local authorities, have a moral (and perhaps legal) duty of care for vulnerable citizens.
In Ealing we have been told that an estimated 130 people have died in our Care Homes although the number could be even higher. ESON has joined with Ealing Reclaim Social Care Action Group (ERSCAG) and Seniors Action Group Ealing (SAGE) in pressing for answers on why so many people died in Ealing Care Homes and what steps are being taken to stop it happening again.
This has been in the media a fair bit over the last few weeks and in our Newsletters too. ‘Test and Trace’ is the key to the lifting the lockdown but it’s hard to have confidence in this centralised system. In reality it has very little to do with the NHS, who were not really consulted, neither were public health experts and it is almost wholly run by a low-cost and inexperienced private sector!