Thursday, April 29, 2010

Save our A & E!

My stance on the threats to close our local Accident and Emergency units is straightforward. I completely oppose their closure and I have been campaigning on this issue since the week that the plans were originally leaked to the press.

I've recently seen a leaflet from my Conservative opponent about the threatened closure of the local A & E departments at Ealing Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital. I welcome that she, like me, recognises that this is a key issue in Ealing Central & Acton. However, I read on to see that she says, "Of course in time, new patterns of patient care may be developed, but it would be extraordinarily misguided to close these A&E departments before new services have been developed and people get used to them."

I think that the people of Ealing and Acton need to be secure in the knowledge that if they get ill, there is somewhere nearby that they can go to or by taken to by ambulance. It needs to be local because of the state of near-gridlock on many of our local roads. We all know that rapidly covering long distances in West London is difficult - even in an ambulance on a blue light. Also, if they need to stay in hospital overnight local people want to be treated somewhere that relatives and friends can easily visit.

I don't want our vital local health facilities to be sacrificed on the altar of "new patterns of patient care". The reason I oppose A&E closures is because they are wrong; not merely because the timing is wrong. It is crazy to contemplate a situation in which a borough the size of Ealing would have no A&E facility in it or on its boundaries. I stand up wholeheartedly for local hospital services. Sadly, my Conservative opponent's position is less clear.

If you support my campaign, please join my 'Save Ealing Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital A & E Units' Facebook group.


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