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Hunt confirms A&E closures

Hunt confirms A&E closures

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Proposed changes to healthcare services in North West London should proceed, the Health Secretary has decided. 

Following advice from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), Jeremy Hunt announced that nine hospitals in the area will be redesigned so that five of them (Hillingdon, Northwick Park, West Middlesex, Chelsea & Westminster and St Mary’s) provide the highest possible quality care. 

Changes at A&Es at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals will be made after winter. The IRP advised that further work is required on the proposed changes at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals.

All local medical directors have given “unanimous support” for the changes, which will “save many lives each year”, it has been claimed. 

The changes mean urgent or emergency care will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

There will also be increased investment in mental health, so that psychiatric liaison services can better co-ordinate 24/7 care for vulnerable, mentally ill people. 

And £190 million will be spend each year on GP and other local services, to provide 24/7 services at local practices. 

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “Changes to services across North West London have been designed and driven by local doctors and healthcare professionals who know their patients best.  When local doctors tell me that lives can be saved and patient care improved, I will not hesitate to act in the interests of patients.

“Today’s changes will put patients at the centre of the NHS in North West London, giving them better access to care 24/7 at home, at GP surgeries, in hospitals and the community.”

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