Ealing's maternity unit under threat in NHS plans
Published 11 September 2012
Ealing Hospital’s maternity and paediatric units are under threat as NHS North West London proposes to cut hospital services.
Under the proposals Ealing Hospital would be downgraded to a local hospital, stripping it of nine of the 11 major types of service currently provided on-site including its maternity, obstetric and paediatric units, forcing residents to travel out of borough.
The proposals are part of a major restructure of NHS services in North West London which, if agreed, would mean almost half of the A&E departments in the region would close.
Approximately 5,800 babies are born to Ealing residents each year, with just under half being delivered at Ealing Hospital. Ealing is experiencing one of the highest increases in birth rates and in 2010 had the seventh highest birth rate in London.
In the last 10 years there has been a 30% increase in births across the borough. The total number of people aged 0 to 14 is predicted to grow by 17.2% and the number aged 10 to 14 is anticipated to increase by 43.1% between 2012 and 2035.
Council leader Julian Bell said: With Ealing seeing increasing numbers of births, it is incomprehensible to ask expecting parents to travel to Isleworth, Hammersmith or Paddington for their care.
Hospitals in these neighbouring areas are equally busy and also facing increasing populations. It just doesnt add up that they will be able to cope with their own increased demand, let alone the extra pressure of accommodating expecting parents from Ealing. It is clear from these plans that the NHS has no regard for the impact on our residents and their care at such a sensitive time.
All political parties on Ealing Council oppose the proposals and councillors are urging anyone who lives or works in the borough to get behind the campaign to Save Our Hospitals by signing a petition and responding to the NHS consultation.
A march is also being organised for Saturday 15 September, which residents are invited to attend.