On Friday I received formal confirmation that inpatient services would be ended for children at Ealing Hospital within a year. I had asked the Secretary of State for Health what plans his department had for the local Children’s unit, and received the answer that current services would end on the 30th June 2016.
“Over the seven years I have been the MP here I have countless times helped raise money to improve the local children’s ward. Within the last few years the local community have raised money for a special play area on the roof of the hospital, and I am now appalled to discover that this time and energy has been wasted. This heartless Tory government are closing a popular local service, and moving the care of our community’s children further from their homes. I am outraged that this has been done with so little local consultation, and against the wishes of residents.”
I have started a petition on the new government website, which I hope all Ealing residents will sign, to make clear local opposition to the reduction in services. I asked good friend of mine, and the woman who should be the next mayor of London, Rt Hon Tessa Jowell, to be one of the first to sign the petition.
You too can sign my petition here.
There are many months left of work here to do, to make sure that local services are not affected.
I recently joined Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Health on a visit to Ealing Hospital to talk to nurses and NHS staff about their worries and fears over local services suffering from a winter crisis.