Meanwhile at the Ministry of Health (I always imagine ranks of rosy cheeked, jogging, trainer wearing, fruit-smoothy drinking, calorie counting bureaucrats) there is another delayed decision.
They were planning to shut the Accident and Emergency units at either Frimley Park or Epsom Hospitals. Both are the next door trusts to Ashford and St. Peter’s. There’s been protests because they are needed.
If there was any kind of plan you could say that health was being run by a malicious maniac – but there is no plan. It’s just about saving money. Now the minister has announced a delay in taking the decision. The real reason is so that the final decision can’t be challenged in Court – what he is doing is to make it seem as though he is consulting. If there was real consultation, the decisions would be different. Actually, although the minister doesn't have a plan, I bet the civil servants do.
Still it’s a reprieve, this is where we are at;
At the moment High Wycombe and Heatherwood have already lost their Accident and Emergency departments – leaving Wexham Park at Slough.
Ashford has already lost it’s A and E, so there is St. Peter’s on the M25 at Chertsey then the next nearest is West Middlesex in Isleworth. Next is either Frimley Park or Epsom and one or both of those is going.
So the ‘plan’ seems to be that we are left with just Isleworth, Hillingdon, Chertsey, Slough and Croydon.
Neil Harris(a don’t stop till you drop production)