Harrow GPs told to send emergency patients to Brent as Northwick Park struggles to cope

Harrow Times: The trust is proposing that Northwick Park take on even more patients if Central Middlesex's A&E department closes. The trust is proposing that Northwick Park take on even more patients if Central Middlesex's A&E department closes.

Doctors are being told by health bosses to send patients needing emergency treatment to a hospital in Brent because Northwick Park Hospital is struggling to cope with demand.

The Harrow Times can reveal that the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust has asked the borough’s GPs to send patients needing treatment to Central Middlesex Hospital on the border of Brent and Ealing to ease the pressure.

But two doctors who spoke to the Harrow Times on condition of anonymity said they were unhappy at the policy as it meant patients needing urgent treatment having to travel further and relatives, sometimes elderly or disabled, finding it difficult to visit their family in hospital.

The fact that Northwick Park’s accident and emergency department is already struggling to cope with demand will be worrying for health chiefs, who put forward plans in June to close Central Middlesex’s A&E department – putting further strain on Harrow’s leading hospital.

David McVittie, chief executive of North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I want it to be clear that the trust has not been closing Northwick Park Hospital to emergency admissions.

“However, in light of the pressure on emergency services at Northwick Park, we have been asking GPs to refer appropriate patients to Central Middlesex Hospital, where they can be cared for safely and well.”

The most recently released data in August shows that Northwick Park missed targets on the time patients had to wait at A&E until their initial assessment and the total time they spent in the department – with the average patient spending more than five hours there.

Its performance has improved slightly since June, when patients spent an average of nearly eight hours in A&E.

Councillor Stanley Sheinwald, who represents Hatch End, said he it was “absurd” that his constituents could be asked to travel to Central Middlesex Hospital to visit their sick relatives.

He added: “It’s very worrying for elderly people who want to go and see their loved ones – if they haven’t got a car they would have to get the Tube to Harlesden and then it’s a long walk.”

Northwick Park has already been under fire recently for the price of its car parks, with 86-year-old grandmother Pamela Gershon handing a 1,500-strong petition to the trust calling for cheaper rates.

Comments (3)

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8:41am Sat 13 Oct 12

anonymouse44 says...

There is a bus stop just across the road from Harlesden Station that will take you direct to Central Middlesex Hospital, you DO NOT have to walk from the station to the hospital, that is too far to even anticipate it.
There is a bus stop just across the road from Harlesden Station that will take you direct to Central Middlesex Hospital, you DO NOT have to walk from the station to the hospital, that is too far to even anticipate it. anonymouse44

8:06pm Sat 13 Oct 12

hurricena says...

Northwick Park Hospital isn't "Harrow's leading hospital", it's in Brent. The boundary should be changed to move the Hospital, and the "Harrow campus" of the University of Westminster, from Brent to Harrow.
Northwick Park Hospital isn't "Harrow's leading hospital", it's in Brent. The boundary should be changed to move the Hospital, and the "Harrow campus" of the University of Westminster, from Brent to Harrow. hurricena

8:26am Mon 15 Oct 12

Sue Anderson says...

This has been happening on occasion for over a year now, Northwick Park hospital's response seems feeble in the extreme. I would be interested to know how they plan to deal with this in future particularly if A and E at Central Middlesex and Ealing are closed as part of the changes envisaged in "Shaping a Healthier Future"
This has been happening on occasion for over a year now, Northwick Park hospital's response seems feeble in the extreme. I would be interested to know how they plan to deal with this in future particularly if A and E at Central Middlesex and Ealing are closed as part of the changes envisaged in "Shaping a Healthier Future" Sue Anderson

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