Option to close Central Middlesex Hospital was offered to health chiefs

Central Middlesex Hospital is battling with a �11m deficit

Central Middlesex Hospital is battling with a �11m deficit - Credit: Archant

A hospital closure was an option raised to health chiefs to help plug a £11million financial black hole, it has been revealed.

North West London NHS Trust was offered the choice of axing Central Middlesex Hospital to help balance it book in a report seen by the Times.

Currently only 35 per cent of the hospital in Action Lane, Harlesden, is being utilised, which has created the multi-million pound deficit.

Sarah Cox, a health activist from Harlesden, said: “This is very worrying.

“They have this beautiful new building designed for emergency care and they do not know what to do with it.

“I do not think Northwick Park will be able to cope because it is already under an incredible amount of pressure, made worse by the announced cuts to CMS A&E.”

The trust, which manages Central Middlesex and Northwick Park hospitals, is currently exploring other options to stem the deficit.

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These include the formation of a new ‘hub,’ which would use CMH as a base for primary and community services and re-housing rehabilitation beds from Willesden Community Hospital to CMH.

This news comes months after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, announced the closure of the hospital’s accident and emergency department.

Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, who represents the Stonebridge ward, dubbed the proposals as reckless, and claims they potential put people’s lives at risk.

He added: “I was born at CMH and hold the place dear to me heart. I will be fighting the cuts and do everything I can to make sure the NHS listens to local residents and keep our excellent hospital opened.”

David McVittie, the trust’s chief executive told the Times closing CMH has never been an option.

He added: “It is a fantastic facility and one we want to the make the most of.”

“One of the options required for us to consider was closing Central Middlesex Hospital, however this option was quickly dismissed at a very early stage.

“The hospital is currently not being fully utilised and we are working with our partners across North West London, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Trust Development Authority and staff to look at future options to develop services at Central Middlesex Hospital which will enable us to reduce these costs in the future.

“The decision process is currently ongoing and there is a possibility of public consultations being held at a later date.”