Ealing and Northfield

Labour’s empty NHS promises: Both Miliband and Burnham come to Ealing and offer a review

After five years of blaming their own £20 billion Nicholson Challenge policy, and it local roll out (AKA Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF)), on the Conservatives we are now starting to hear Labour’s meagre promises on the local NHS system.

First off Ed Miliband came to Ealing on 24th April to address a rally.

When asked about Ealing Hospital he said:

We will obviously review decisions that are being made when we get into Government because I think you have to ask questions about downgrading an A&E at a time when there is an A&E crisis.

Wow! A review. Pathetic. No promise of any substantial change to SaHF. Just a review. Great. We had one of those when the Independent Review Panel looked at it – and they waved it through.

Miliband’s message was underlined only this last Saturday when Shadow Secretary of State of Health, Andy Burnham, came to Ealing.


According to Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter Burnham said:

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

So after five years of heaping ordure on the heads of the Conservatives for continuing with the Labour party policy as laid out on page 4:3 of their 2010 manifesto Labour’s big offer to Ealing is a review.

Ealing Central and Acton Labour candidate is even more confused in her leaflets.

Huq NHS pledge

She talks about “keep open our remaining hospitals”. Of course no hospitals have closed and none will. Hammersmith lost its A&E but will focus on being a world class cardiac hospital and will take cardiac emergencies. Central Middlesex will focus on elective surgery. The NHS has already promised that Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es will remain as they are for three years after Tory Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt’s intervention following representations from Angie Bray.

So Huq’s promise is to “fight” for what the NHS is currently proposing to deliver. Her number 1 pledge is to change nothing.

2 replies on “Labour’s empty NHS promises: Both Miliband and Burnham come to Ealing and offer a review”

No entry yet on the election result Phil?

You must be pleased with the national result – how unexpected was that? But presumably not so happy about the local one…

The Tories really need to find a different type of candidate for city seats, to compete with the likes of Rupa Huq. Here’s my take on it – Rupa came across as much more like “us” and Angie Bray simply did not. Outdated views on climate change, a wobbly stance on gay marriage, and a headmistress vibe which is out of touch with the modern London population.

Interested to see what you have to say



I will comment on the local and national results this week. Last week I was a bit tied up with actually trying to help Angie Bray keep her seat. I am sorry she lost it. Angie is a good woman and she worked hard. She is herself. She is not everyone’s cup of tea, but, who is?

I think the Conservatives should certainly select city people for cities. But our cities are so diverse, especially London, that gives you a pretty wide choice.

I know Rup Huq quite well and she is nice woman in many way. I do think that her campaign was slightly inauthentic. You say she “came across as much more like ‘us'”. That may well be because she was not at pains to spell out her elite education and her work as a sociology lecturer. She rather disingenuously described herself as a “public sector worker”. Yeah. Right.

It will be interesting to see how Rupa does. It will be a long time before I forgive her and the Ealing Labour group for their sullen lying over local NHS changes which were driven through by the local NHS, led by clinicians, who were simply responding to Labour’s own £20 billion Nicholson Challenge, a policy that the Coalition was in no position to unwind. The failure of the local NHS to deliver a sound programme was a failure of the state bureaucracy. The only actor in this whole story who has given Ealing any relief from this scheme is Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt who insisted that Ealing and Charing Cross retained their A&Es. As I pointed out above the Labour party’s offer of a review after five years of screaming blue murder was just pathetic.

I suspect that Rupa will be a blow hard. She will speak from a metropolitan, left-wing position and will be ineffective locally. She will not challenge Ealing Council rather she will remain part of the rather bent, old Labour style of local Labour politics that she has been involved with for decades. We will see.

I am very pleased that the Conservatives won the election so well. I have been saying for five years that the Coalition would go the distance and the Conservatives would win a majority. The polls up to 10pm last Thursday had rather dented my confidence but it turned out alright on the night.


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