I sent out an email to my email list to inform local people (hard copy will follow more widely) of the threat to close or reduce services at the Whittington A & E and about the threat to the North Middlesex A & E too. Both contain petitions for people to sign up to: The Whittington petition is here and the North Mid petition is at http://bit.ly/northmid.
The responses are pouring in. In the first 24 hours, since yesterday afternoon, 745 people have already signed the Whittington petition and 89 the North Mid.
It is already quite clear that local people don’t want to lose their local A & E nor see it reduced. That is why it is so important that local peoples’ views are heard loud and clear NOW. Otherwise when the Health Authority ‘options’ finally come to public consultation – we may find that there are no options that keep the Whittington A & E open and that in reality the decisions have actually been made. That goes for the North Mid too.
I support improved clinical outcomes, obviously, and there are lots of health services that may be better provided by one or other hospital. But A & E is one of the services that needs to be local and 24 hours – that’s the point.
As one constituent wrote to me who works at one of the hospitals (not the Whittington) ‘there is no more logic to an A & E unit at University College Hospital than the others. Medical staff will adapt to what is decided. UCH and RFH could easily become even more specialist than they already are and would flourish without an A & E. The Whittington on the contrary exists to provide a local and emergency service and is at risk of having its lifeblood sucked away’.
Couldn’t have put it better myself!