I attended the excellent meeting on Wednesday last week organised by the Pinner Association regarding plans to relocate the plastics and burns unit from Mount Vernon Hospital.

It seems to me that the reason why this plan has been developed dates back to the decision to shut down the accident and emergency unit (A&E) in 1995.

A&E units, with highly trained emergency surgeons, are a vital part of the infrastructure supporting specialist services such as plastics and burns. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that a proposal to move plastics and burns should come forward after the A&E unit has been closed.

I supported the petition organised by Gareth Thomas MP, then only a councillor, against the closure of Mount Vernon's A&E unit, which eventually collected 10,000 name.

I was appalled to discover at that time that he was virtually on his own in campaigning against the closure. Both our local Conservative MPs then, and the current Conservative MP for Ruislip and Northwood did not campaign against the A&E closure.

I was equally appalled that Conservative councillors in Pinner and Hatch End did not actively support Gareth Thomas' campaign against the closure and did not collect signatures for the petition.

No one should be in any doubt that the current plan to move plastics and burns is directly rooted in the previous decision to shut down the A&E unit. Conservative MPs and councillors must now bear a heavy responsibility for their conspicuous failure to actively support Gareth Thomas's campaign against the closure of the A&E unit in 1995.

Sean White, Love Lane, Pinner

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.