Protest held against closure of Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E department

Dawn Butler joined Labour councillors and residents in protesting against the planned closures

Dawn Butler joined Labour councillors and residents in protesting against the planned closures - Credit: Archant

Scores of local residents and politicians gathered outside Central Middlesex Hospital (CMH) to protest against it’s A&E unit closure in the near future.

The unit in Acton Lane, Park Royal, has been axed as part as the controversial Shaping a Healthier Future (SAHF) plans, following a lengthy consultation and in house discussions from NHS bosses which took place in February last year.

The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust’s Board has earmarked September 10 for the closure of Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E department and the consolidation emergency and trauma expertise at Northwick Park Hospital.

Dawn Butler, prospective Labour MP for Brent Central, yesterday joined Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council, and a flurry of borough councillors in demonstarting the closure.

Ms Butler, who has lobbied on behalf of residents against the change, said: “I fought to save central middlesex A&E in 2006 and I continue this fight today.

Adding that the closure would impact the most vulnerable in society and increase pressure on neighbouring hospitals, she continued: “Central Middlesex hospital is my local hospital and it is where I had my operation, it mainly serves residents from Brent south the poorest part of Brent.”

“Residents rightly feel betrayed by a coalition government who claimed the NHS was safe in their hands.

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In October, Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, approved the plans, which will also be downgraded alongside Hammersmith Hospital.

The closure follows the night closure of the department in 2011, despite the unit undergoing a £62m refurbishment only seven years ago.

The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust (NWLH) claims the decision takes into account the reducing number of patients using CMH A&E, difficulties with staffing the service and the growing role of the 24/7 urgent care centres.

David McVittie, chief executive of NWLH said: “Changes to much-loved services are never easy to talk about and these are not decisions we take lightly.

He continued: “Our main priority for the next three months is to ensure that the closure is done in a safe way, in the best interests of patients, and alongside major investment at Northwick Park to enable the opening of a new A&E and extra beds.

“We strongly believe that Central Middlesex will continue to be a thriving local hospital, albeit a different one, looking after our local community for a long time to come.”

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