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Downgrade plans fail to command support

A review commissioned by a London council has criticised NHS North West London’s proposals for downgrading hospitals.

Shaping a Healthier Future — An Independent Review states that assumptions behind plans to reduce the number of hospitals from nine to five are ‘open to challenge’. It also disputes claims the area has too many emergency departments.

The review by former NHS Leicester City chief executive Tim Rideout, on behalf of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, says although the scheme is backed by four medical directors and chairs of eight CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), anecdotal evidence indicates that a number of local GPs and hospital doctors do not support the proposals.

BMA GP negotiator and London GP Chaand Nagpaul said CCGs should not be proceeding with wholesale changes until they were certain that they had the support of constituent GPs.

‘Many of these proposals have been developed prior to the establishment of CCGs,’ he said.

The BMA London regional council was due to discuss the challenges facing the capital’s health service at an open meeting this week.

The NHS North West London consultation, Shaping a Healthier Future, is due to close on October 8.