The local NHS body that runs Ealing and Northwick Park hospitals has clearly screwed up the implementation of its new £21 million A&E at Northwick Park. It was a mistake to close Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&Es on 10th September and then open the new A&E as the winter pressure on the NHS was at its height. We have been let down by London North West Healthcare NHS Trust (LNW). The picture over the last few weeks has been clear and disappointing. The recent weekly figures charted below are official NHS statistics.
Overall North West Hospitals are doing poorly, only managing to get around 85% of patients moved on from A&E within four hours compared to more like 90% for the neighbouring Imperial Trust that manages Charing Cross and St Mary’s, or indeed the England average that is running around 90% compared to a 95% target. The Labour-run Welsh NHS was running at 81% throughout December. You can see the Welsh numbers here.
If you look more carefully at the numbers for Type 1 (major) cases the picture is worse.
England has been running around 85% over the last 8 weeks. Imperial and Wales at 77% and LNW has been running at an atrocious 64%, dipping to 54% just after the new unit opened.
The local paper on Friday had the headline “A&E waiting times at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust worst in England”. LNW has been one of the worst English hospitals for Type 1 (major) A&E waits for weeks now.
As it happens LNW wasn’t the worst in England the previous week. It was the second worst. Southport And Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust was fractionally worse. I guess second worst isn’t such a good headline.
Labour wannabe Rupa Huq has been quick to pounce. She says:
In Ealing and Acton we saw the price of a Tory-run NHS long before these figures were released. The Tories and Lib Dems are destroying our NHS. I’ve lived here for over 40 years now and I can’t remember a time when so many people talked to me about their fears for our health service and social care in later life.
As a mum I’ve first-hand experience of our health service and with my parents needing adult social care I understand the fear that threats to our local NHS services can bring. Local residents face a big choice in the election this year.
Note just emotional name calling from Huq. She used the word “fear” twice in the same quote. Classy. Not one shred of a policy. No promises to do anything different. Her comments about “the price of a Tory-run NHS” ring a little hollow when you consider the record of the “Labour-run NHS” in Wales. The Welsh record on A&E waits is considerably worse than the English record. In Wales in December almost 2,500 people waited over 12 hours. We are not hearing much from Labour about that.
We know winter is a hard time for the NHS and we also know that the local NHS has cocked up their change programme. What we aren’t hearing from Labour is how it would do anything differently. Until we do they might stop shroud waving and let the doctors get on with it.