Ealing and Northfield Health, housing and adult social services

Labour won’t fight for Ealing Hospital’s stroke unit

The Joint Committee of London Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) has just voted unanimously to close Ealing Hospital’s Stroke Unit. As a result Ealing stroke patients will be forced out of the Borough to units such as Hillingdon and Charing Cross. Both units have a worse rating than Ealing. Visit the website to check it.

The Ealing PCT representative who voted to close the Stroke Unit at Ealing Hospital was none other than former Labour Mayor Phil Portwood. Equally lamentable was the failure of Ealing Southall Labour MP, Virendra Sharma, to make a submission to the joint committee. Labour have really let Ealing down.

Meanwhile Tory councillors are hopping mad. They have been fighting to save the unit:

  • representations were made by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Jason Stacey and the Cabinet Member for Health, Cllr Mark Reen to Healthcare for London (HfL)
  • Cllr Gregory Stafford, the Conservative Chairman of Ealing’s Health Scrutiny Panel, held a six-hour meeting on the issue and submitted a major report to HfL demanding that the unit be saved
  • Cllr Gurcharan Singh, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Southall, collected a petition of over eighteen hundred people calling for the Stroke Unit to be kept at Ealing Hospital.

Lady Margaret ward councillor and Conservative Parliamentary candidate, Gurcharan Singh says:

This is terrible outcome for Ealing and Southall and for healthcare in London more generally. Ealing Council, the Scrutiny Committee and Ealing Hospital made powerful submissions to the Committee to save the Stroke Unit. I organised a petition of 1,862 residents, yet it all seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Ealing Hospital has a top quality stroke unit that will be dismantled if this goes through, forcing people to use poorer performing facilities. Local residents in Ealing, Southall and Greenford – both patients and family – will be forced to travel unacceptable distances.

What has been especially disappointing is the silence of Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma. Whereas as MPs in other parts of London have spoken up loudly for their residents, Mr Sharma made no submission to the Committee, a fact that must have gone against us.

I am going to continue to fight to save the Stroke Unit for Ealing Southall – the Government still has the power to overturn this terrible decision. I will be leading a delegation to the Secretary of State for Health.

Cllr Gregory Stafford, the Conservative Chairman of Ealing’s Health Scrutiny Panel, says:

This is an extremely disappointing decision by London’s PCTs, one made even worse by the fact that the Ealing PCT’s representative voted to close the Stroke Unit. Phil Portwood has essentially hammered in the death nail for the unit and potentially the Hospital as a whole.

The decision is completely bizarre when we know that Ealing Hospital is in the top 25% in the country when it comes to stroke services. Also Ealing is in the top ten when it comes to rates of stroke but will be the only London Borough without a stroke unit.

This will have a terrible effect on the patients and their friends and families.

I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Health to urge him to overturn this calamitous vote.


2 replies on “Labour won’t fight for Ealing Hospital’s stroke unit”

Is there an explanation from Phil Portwood posted anywhwere saying why he voted to close this unit?? It seems an extraordinary betrayal.

And why did Virendra Sharma not intervene?? Is there an explanation posted anywhere?? What is he there for if not to defend and try to save Units like this one. Did he even know it was under threat?? I think we should be told.


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