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West Middlesex Hospital weighs up A&E and maternity decision
The chief executive of West Middlesex Hospital urged residents to get involved in its decision whether or not to keep its maternity and accident and emergency wards.
Jacqueline Docherty said she was confident it would remain a major hospital following a major health service shake-up but wanted people involved in the consultation.
NHS North West London’s reconfiguration programme suggested three proposals which will all lead to patients travelling further for some types of care.
Its preferred option is having Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and West Middlesex Hospital all as major centres.
Central Middlesex Hospital would be a local and elective hospital, Hammersmith Hospital would be specialist and both Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals would be local hospitals.
However, another option suggests West Middlesex Hospital becoming local and elective hospital, which would see it lose its A&E, maternity, paediatric and stroke units. Patients would go there for planned operations that were not urgent.
Dame Jacqueline said: “West Middlesex Hospital wants to be a major hospital.
“If much more work was to come to us over a period of years we can expand because the site allows us to do that, it’s long and low.
“We think we could provide a wider range of services than we currently do to a wider population.
“Thirty per cent of our patients come from Richmond and if we weren’t a major hospital those patients would have to go somewhere else and would probably go to Kingston.
“As part of the consultation we already know Kingston wouldn’t be able to cope with that, it would probably be overwhelmed.”
She told the hospital’s annual public meeting on Tuesday, July 17, that she wanted as many people as possible to respond to the consultation.
She added: “This isn’t a done deal so we want to make our views known.”
The Isleworth hospital serves a surrounding population of about 400,000.
It treated a total of 106,127 patients in its A&E last year and delivered 5,089 babies.
The hospital axed 8.21 per cent of its staff last year, reducing the number from 2,265 to 2,079, as part of its drive to pay off its historic debt.
For more information, visit healthiernorthwestlondon.nhs.uk.