Brent Council urged to take robust action against A&E unit closure plans at Central Middlesex Hospital

Central Middlesex Hospital will lose its casualty unit

Central Middlesex Hospital will lose its casualty unit - Credit: Archant

Members of the Trade Union Socialist Coalition said town hall bosses face leadership challenge

Brent Council will face a challenge to their leadership if they do not take tougher action on plans to close the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit at Central Middlesex Hospital (CMH), a coalition party has warned.

Members of the Trade Union Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have called on the Labour-run council to mount a robust fight to save the casualty unit.

They are also urging the council to refer the decision to Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health, for official review or face being targeted at the next election.

The casualty unit at CMH in Acton Lane Harlesden has been earmarked for closure, alongside four others under plans called Shaping a Healthier Future. A&E departments at Ealing, Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals will all also be closed.

Ealing Council has vehemently opposed the plans. But Brent, despite publicly condemning the plans and joining campaigners on marches, has yet to call for a referral.

John Boyle, spokesman for the TUSC, said that the group, which was set-up in 2010, was keen to show opposition to cuts and to fight “pro austerity” parties would be mounting an anti-cuts challenge.

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He added that they would be putting forward candidates in as many wards as possible to “challenge those not prepared to resist government cuts.”

He said: “While we welcome the pledge to resist local health cuts, we want to see some action.”

But Cllr Mary Daly, chair of the health scrutiny committee at the council, said: “The leader of the council marched with protesters against this cuts consultation once again on Saturday and has consistently said that he opposes the closure of Central Middlesex A&E.”

But Mr Boyle added: “Referring back to the government is a valid tactic to block criminal attacks on our NHS and will at least buy some time and confidence to build a campaign which can go further.”