Ealing and Northfield Health, housing and adult social services

After five years of screaming blue murder over Labour’s own Nicholson Challenge Burnham offers us a “clinical review”

You might think that after five years of complaining about local NHS changes the local Labour types would expect some real meat from Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham when he came to Ealing on the eve of a general election and talked about changes to our local health system.

Labour NHS event 2nd May

On Saturday night (yes, this really is how Labour types spend their Saturday nights) Andy Burnham addressed a Labour NHS rally in Acton. You can see a photo here tweeted by Labour MP Andy Slaughter showing a nurse in uniform (not very appropriate), comedienne Jo Brand, “Dr” Rupa Huq, Andy Burnham and GP, BMA official and Labour zealot Clare “fear of annihilation” Gerada.


According to Slaughter Burnham said:

I am minded not to proceed with those changes (to west London A&Es). Will demand full clinical review.

Whoah! Strong language!

I am minded …

He doesn’t say: “I will roll back closures of Central Middlesex and Hammersmith A&Es.”
He doesn’t say: “I will keep the current A&Es as they are.”
He doesn’t say: “I will keep Ealing maternity services open.”

No, he says: “I am minded not to proceed with those changes.” But he would not, in law, be able to make any changes without proper process and evidence.

His call for a “full clinical review” is his real offer and is just silly. The Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF) programme was produced by clinicians and reviewed by a body (with clinical skills) called the Independent Reconfiguration Panel which reviewed it and passed it. The SaHF programme was never very attractive to Ealing residents and the only actor in this drama who has ever given us any respite is Conservative Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt who had representations from our MP Angie Bray and demanded that Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es stayed put.

Now after five years of Labour screaming blue murder Burnham promises us a review. Now we know from Burnham’s own mouth to his own people what his offer is. A review.

The most likely outcome from Burnham’s “full clinical review” is that it will find that SaHF is sound and let it roll on.

Labour has spent five years belly aching about the consequences of Burnham’s own £20 billion Nicholson Challenge and Burnham now promises a review. Talk about weak.

4 replies on “After five years of screaming blue murder over Labour’s own Nicholson Challenge Burnham offers us a “clinical review””

Some facts might be helpful:
+ The SaHF programme was produced by McKinsey & Co – not by clinicians
+ The SaHF capital costs has risen from £500 million to over £1 billion in just three years
+ Annual savings from implementing SaHF were stated in 2012 to be £135 million
+ No evidence in the world has been provided to support the SaHF assertion that significant cost savings can be made by reducing acute hospital services and replacing them with Out Of Hospital (OOH) services
+ The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) did not blithely ‘pass’ the SaHF. The IRP highlighted, for example, the need for more work by SaHF to justify OOH plans and for more work on workforce issues.

My own view is that never mind SaHF passing a clinical review when H.M.Treasury get to see the final SaHF business plan they will reject it as unaffordable and unsustainable.



Nice to hear.

I am no great fan of SaHF and my piece was not really about it.

I think you are trying to change the subject.

The fact is that Labour’s offer is a review. Nothing more. Nothing less. They are not offering to make any changes at this stage having had five years to think about it.

Both Miliband and Burnham have merely offered a reivew – here in Ealing in the last few days. Pathetic.



I am distressed that you describe yourself as an Islamist. My understanding of Islamism is that it is a peversion of Islam that has led to 7/7 and ISIS.

I am no more indifferent to the Muslim community than I am to the Catholic one or the Anglican one. I don’t really talk or think in those terms. I don’t really consider people’s religious background.

I am against people who break the law and try to undermine our system. The cheats in Tower Hamlets have finally been outed for what they are in the courts. That doesn’t put me against the Muslim community. It means I am against a small group of bent politicians who are manipulating the Bangladeshi community there.

I don’t think any “Muslim vote” got Rupa Huq elected locally. I think LibDems voting Labour and Labour’s sullen lying over the NHS are what won it for Rupa. She herself doesn’t really present herself as a Muslim. Overall England and Wales moved strongly towards the Conservatives.


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