Row Blows Up Over Hospital A & E Closures

Councillor Ruth Cadbury is challenged by Conservatives

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Labour Councillor Ruth Cadbury has been accused of "hypocrisy" following her motion expressing concern at the plans to close A and E services at Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals and relocate them to West Middlesex Hospital. She had said that without targets and guaranteed funding the plans were " aspirational" and "little more than wishful thinking".

The motion, at the Hounslow Council meeting expressing concern about the impact of the A and E closures on the west Middlesex hospital and on local communities, was supported by Labour and UKIP Councillors while the Conservatives abstained.

But the Conservatives have accused Cllr Cadbury of not doing her homework properly and of using the issue to further her political ambitions to run for the Brentford/Isleworth constituency.

Cllr Cadbury said "The proposed closure of Charing Cross hospital is a major issue raised by people in Chiswick when we meet them on the doorstep.  There are real fears about longer journey times for ambulances, patients admitted to a bed being cared for further from home, and the loss of clinical excellence."

She added; "Few who use or work in hospital services would deny that there is a need for change.  But those changes need to be properly funded and properly planned - and the current proposals do not adequately address the inevitable pressures likely to be put on West Mid, nor the concerns of residents who live nearer to Charing Cross".

 "No-one can argue that it's in everyone's interests to get and keep frail elderly people, and people with chronic conditions, out of hospital " said Cllr Cadbury.  "But what I have seen are nice plans with no targets, and no funding guaranteed. They are aspirational. Without committed funding and clear targets they are little more than wishful thinking."  

However the Conservative grouping has accused Cllr Cadbury of " hypocrisy".

Cllr Peter Thompson commented;“The hypocrisy of Cllr Cadbury is staggering. Last year the cabinet of which she was a member supported the option in the NHS’ “ Shaping a healthier future” consultation that would have led to the closure Accident & Emergency at Charing Cross.  Now she is back a few months later campaigning to save A & E!”

“If that wasn’t enough her motion repeatedly talks about the demolition of Charing Cross.  That is not and never was part of anyone plans.  Indeed due to the hard work of local residents and GP’s, Hammersmith  and Fulham  Council – all fully supported by local conservatives - it has been agreed that £90million will be spent to create a Specialist Health & Social Care Hospital which will continue to cater for everyday healthcare needs. 

She also conveniently fails to mention that A&E will be turned into a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre that will provide for all but the very specialist emergency care needs. The vast majority of people who use A&E (85%) now will use the UCC in exactly the same way. Some people are still worried over this but we do have a duty to be truthful and not mislead with half-truths and downright lies.”

“We all agree that the way our health services are delivered needs to change to ensure that we can provide the highest quality care in the future.  Cllr Cadbury is no doubt very busy at the moment trying to win the Labour nomination for Brentford and Isleworth but that’s no excuse for her not doing her homework properly and it is frankly pathetic if she thinks that this half baked motion with further her political ambitions one iota!”


September 18, 2013