I am desperately worried that there is a possibility Whittington A&E could close. As the mother of one-and-a-half-year old twin boys, I suspect I will be needing to use it.
I have visited A&E twice in the last two years, once due to possible miscarriage and once due to illness of one of my babies. Both times I was treated well.
Since I don’t own a car, on these occasions I tried to get a taxi, but none were available for 30 mins and so I travelled to A&E by bus getting there door-to-door in 20 mins. If I were to have to travel to the Royal Free it would be impossible by public transport (taking perhaps an hour as it’s 2 or 3 buses) and by taxi would take a lot longer and it’s likely I wouldn’t have enough money in the house for much higher fare – stopping off at a cash machine would be another detour and more time wasted. Realistically, I can imagine having to call an ambulance as the only way to get to A&E even if the incident was not life-threatening. As for a life-threatening incident the extra travel time by ambulance or car is even more worrying.
Please remember that not everyone has a car or can afford long taxi journeys in the middle of the night.
I am also seriously worried about the implication that other services could be moved away. Getting to the Royal Free would be very difficult from where I live. I have already have to leave a course of treatment at St Anne’s Hospital in Tottenham because it takes 1 hour 15 mins each way and I have two young babies. Not being able to access other treatments currently available at the Whittington would be a big problem.
It would have been traumatic to take the tube to use UCH instead of the Whittington for maternity services , or example, as by the end of my pregnancy I could barely walk yet had to attend several times a week.
I’m no one important, just a mum, but I hope my opinion counts.