Shaping a Healthier Future
“Shaping a Healthier Future” was initially launched in 2012 and involved the downgrading of several hospitals across North West London to "local" hospitals without A&E provision, closure of acute provision and reduction or downgrading of specific services. It also promised commitments to investment in capacity of out-of-hospital and community services in order to offset reductions in acute provision.
As the process has gone on serious questions have been raised about the impact of the changes for patient care. The remaining A&E units in the area which have been expected to deal with additional patients are now reporting some of the longest waiting times in the country. There are questions about what increase there has been to budgets for out of hospital care. In practice, little seems to have been done to boost capacity elsewhere in the system to make up for the closures.
The North West London Health Commission
The impact of the programme on patient care is now being reviewed by Michael Mansfield QC, under the name “The North West London Health Commission”, on behalf of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow Councils. The RCN has been invited to respond in writing to the review and we want to make sure our response is based on the experience of members in the area.
We would be particularly interested to hear your thoughts on:
- The closure of Central Middlesex and Hammersmith A&E units
- The proposed downgrade of A&E services at Ealing and Charing Cross
- The planned closure of Ealing maternity services
- Any evidence of extra investment in local community services to offset the effect of the closures
- Any extra duties you have been asked to undertake due to the closures or any other impact on your workload
- The arrangements to assist staff transferring between services
- The impact of the programme as a whole on health services more generally in North West London
- Above all, we would like to know about any effect you have seen on patient care as a result of the reorganisation
“Shaping a Healthier Future” has had a direct impact on hundreds of members working at the hospitals involved, but it has also had knock on effects for those working in community services in the area and in the private sector. We are looking to hear from any members in North West London whose work has been affected by the reorganisation.