The BBC is reporting that the medical director of the largest commissioning cluster in the capital has said hospitals in north west London “will almost certainly” have to close.
The cluster has been tasked with saving about £1bn over four years.
NHS NWL serves a population of 1.9 million people in eight boroughs – Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.
It currently has a budget of about £4bn a year and has been tasked with cutting about £1bn from its budget by 2014-15.
NHS North West London (NWL) medical director Mark Spencer said: “We have more hospitals per head of population, more hospital beds per head of population and travel time to your local hospital is much shorter than anywhere else in the country. And that’s an inefficient system.”
When asked if hospitals will have to close, he said: “Almost certainly.
“Some of these will continue as diagnostic and outpatient facilities but it’s likely some of them won’t have hospital beds in them as they do now.”
When asked whether NHS NWL will have fewer hospitals with accident and emergency (A&E) services, he replied: “I think that’s very likely.”
Unfortunately, closing A&E services mean that it takes longer for people to get emergency treatment and this could be the difference between life and death.
In relation to other services, the NHS Bill passed through Parliament yesterday means that up to 49% of resources can be used privately meaning that there could be less resources available for the public.
The Coalition Government is proposing to cut the number of Parliamentary constituencies from 650 to 600. In London, it is proposed to cut the number of Parliamentary Constituencies by 5, from 73 to 68. Brent is going to be affected by these boundary changes.
At the moment, the London Borough of Brent lies in three Parliamentary constituency boundaries: Brent Central, Brent North and Hampstead and Kilburn. Boundary changes will see wards in the London Borough of Brent in five different Parliamentary constituencies; Harrow, Stanmore, Wembley and Perivale, Willesden and Hampstead and Kilburn.
At the moment, Brondesbury Park Ward lies in Hampstead and Kilburn Parliamentary constituency. It is proposed that this Ward comes over to Brent Central. Kilburn Ward and Queens Park Ward are to remain in Hampstead and Kilburn.
College Park and Old Oak Ward, which is in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is to come over to Brent Central Parliamentary constituency.
Tokyngton Ward is to move over from Brent Central to the Brent North Parliamentary seat.
Brent Central is to be renamed Willesden.
Perivale Ward is to move from the Ealing North Parliamentary seat to Brent North
Brent North is to be renamed Wembley and Perivale.
Fryent Ward and Queensbury Ward are to move over to what is now known as Harrow East in a new Parliamentary constituency that will be named Stanmore.
Kenton Ward in Brent is to move from Brent North to what is now Harrow West in a Parliamentary Constituency called Harrow.
Below are web links to the new proposed constituencies:
It is worth noting that the Government are consulting on these proposals for a 12-week period, from 13 September 2011 to 5 December 2011 so these are not finalised proposals. You can contribute your comments here: LINK
The Commission will be holding public hearings across all the English regions. There will be one hosted at Brent Town Hall on Thursday 20th October from 11am to 8pm and Friday 21st October from 9am to 5pm. For more details and to register, click here: LINK