A Labour candidate for Harrow West is concerned a hospital has the “worst” A&E waiting times in the country.
Gareth Thomas has said that one out of every two people who attended the accident and emergency department at Northwick Park Hospital, in Watford Road, Harrow had to wait more than four hours in February – which he claims is “the worst record of any hospital in England”.
He says the A&E department at the hospital has been under “severe pressure” since the closure of the A&E departments at the nearby Central Middlesex and Hammersmith Hospital's in 2014.
Before the closures, patients in north-west London were admitted within four hours between 78-95 per cent of the time.
But Mr Thomas added that in February this year, just 55 per cent of patients were admitted within four hours.
He said: "These latest figures for waiting times at Northwick Park show just how much pressure the NHS is under.
“In Harrow we are paying the price for receiving the lowest amount of funding for the NHS per person of any London borough following Conservative changes five years ago.
“I have already led one successful campaign to fight off the privatisation of vital services like the Alexandra Avenue Health Centre walk-in clinic, and will continue to fight to ensure that Harrow gets the NHS services we deserve."
A spokesperson for London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital in Harrow, responded that the pressures were a result of “prioritising patients with the highest need”.
The spokesperson, who was not named, said: “February’s A&E figures continue to reflect the ongoing challenges seen across the NHS with unprecedented demand for services over winter.
“Along with other hospitals in London and nationally, we have been experiencing huge pressures due to the number of acutely ill people arriving at our A&E combined with much higher numbers of frail older patients who require social support to be discharged from hospital.
“Our doctors and nurses in our emergency department have been working incredibly hard during this busy period, however patient safety and high quality care remained their priority throughout. With high numbers continuing to attend our emergency department we have to prioritise those patients with the highest need. We recognise that some patients may still experience longer waits and want to thank patients and their families for their co-operation.
“We continue to work with local partners to develop long term solutions that will improve waiting times and demands on our service.”