Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall

Quality of care at risk due to A&E closures

New research by the GLA Intelligence Unit shows that the closure of up to eight A&E units across London will have an overwhelming effect on the remaining 24 A&Es staying open. This is at a time when the demand for emergency response is increasing and the challenge to reduce A&E waiting times is high.

The proposed re-organisation of A&Es comes at a time when, due to cuts, there will be increased demand on other emergency services:

  • London Ambulance Service will lose £53million (19%) of it’s budget by 2015/16, resulting in 890 job cuts, of which 560 will be frontline staff
  • The London Fire Brigade is potentially facing cuts of £64m which would lead to the loss of up to 31 stations, 36 fire engines and over a thousand firefighters
  • The Metropolitan Police have already lost 2,147 police officers and 1,628 PCSOs since May 2010
  • NHS London delivered efficiency savings of around £1billion in 2011/12 and is committed to further savings of £600 million in 2012/13 and £500million in 2013/14

There is also growing concern amongst health professionals that they will find it difficult to maintain the quality of care for A&E patients if these A&E closures go through, not just in terms of treatment and care they receive on route to the A&Es but also after they have been admitted.

Londoners face being caught in a pincer of far fewer A&Es and a shrunken ambulance service. Across London local residents are vehemently campaigning to save their A&E because they know how vital it is to the local community, yet the Mayor of London is nowhere to be seen. He says that it’s nothing to do with him! He isn’t responsible for the Treasury but that didn’t stop him from repeatedly campaigning to reduce the top rate of tax for the very richest.!!!

Note:

1. The GLA Intelligence Unit has calculated the impact on London’s hospitals: this is measured in the % increase in the number of people in a particular hospital’s catchment area. (This is calculated using Output Areas, which are the smallest statistical unit for which population is measured and based on the 2011 Census. For each OA, the closest A&E hospital was identified using straight line distance. The population of that OA was reallocated to one of the 24 remaining A&E hospitals and the population for each hospital estimated).

  • St Mary’s Hospital (Paddington) 114.4%
  • Chelsea & Westminster 85.5%
  • West Middlesex (Isleworth) 78.8%
  • Kings College Hospital (Southwark) 41.8%
  • Queen’s Hospital (Romford) 41.4%
  • Croydon 39.9%
  • North Middlesex Hospital (Edmonton) 39.1%
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Woolwich) 31.9%
  • Northwick Park Hospital (Harrow) 30.3%
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital (Leytonstone) 24.1%
  • Hillingdon Hospital 22.2%
  • Kingston Hospital 21.8%
  • St George’s Hospital (Tooting) 20.8%
  • Royal Free Hospital (Hampstead) 19.8%
  • Newham Hospital 14.2%
  • Princess Royal Hospital (Farnborough) 10.4%
  • Barnet Hospital 6.5%
  • Royal London Whitechapel 5.1%