NW London

  • The rising pressures on Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust finally took their toll yesterday. Dr Tracey Batten, CEO of the trust with three of the busiest acute hospitals in west London, resigned after the Board meeting in public at Charing Cross yesterday, Wednesday 25th January 2017.

    The timing of this resignation could not be worse, with A&E attendances rising to unmanageable levels, a growing waiting list for surgery both emergency and elective, and a programme of redevelopment at a critical point at St Mary's and in the wider context of the "Shaping a Healthier Future" business plans.

    Dr Batten was brave and honest to allow the BBC full access to Imperial's hospitals over 6 weeks. The documentary series "Hospital" is being broadcast on BBC2 on Wednesdays at 9pm, available later on the i-player.

    The Trust is closely helped by PwC for day-to-day financial management, although we were assured at the Board meeting on Wednesday that it "can pay its bills".

    NW London is one of the 44  NHS "footprints" in the most advanced stages of preparation for the implementation of its "Sustainability and Transformation Plan". It is known to be closely watched by the Department of Health. The pressure of implementing completely unwarranted and impossible cuts has, it is believed, prompted this resignation. We look forward to Imperial acknowledging that the evidence shows increased demand for beds, not for cuts in beds and staff.

    Postscript:  On 6th February Dr Batten informed us that in 6 months she will be going back to spend time with her ageing parents in Australia.



    Chair Anne Drinkell reports on the local Rally for the NHS

    It was literally standing room only as over 550 people packed in Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday, 10th March 2015 to hear a wide range of speakers passionate in their defence of London's NHS.

    Dr Sandhu, a consultant at Ealing hospital, attacked politicians who are unprepared to acknowledge that there is an A&E crisis, despite the concrete evidence of local ambulance, waiting and transfer time statistics. And this was a mild winter with no flu or outbreaks of infectious diseases to close hospital wards...

    Andy Slaughter, the Hammersmith MP, acknowledged that the statistics were terrible, then went beyond the numbers to describe the human misery he hears about from elderly constituents faced with long A&E waits. He defended staunchly Charing Cross hospital, with its excellent acute service particularly for stroke patients and its medical teaching. And it is a young hospital, built only 40 years ago.

    Dr Louise Irvine reminded the packed audience of the successful campaign she has led for Lewisham hospital and urged people in North West London to mount a similar campaign to defend their hospitals. She also emphasized that the shadowy Transatlantic Trade and Investment "Partnership" represents a long-term threat to the NHS from neo-liberal, multinational corporate predators.

    The platform also included Owen Jones columnist and political commentator whose speech was filled with reason and emotion, Dr Jacky Turner, an East End GP fighting to retain adequate GP coverage in the face of adverse changes in poorer areas to the funding formula for GP surgeries, and Dr Jillian Creasey, the national health spokesperson for the Green Party".

    Supporters who weren't able to attend the meeting can go to YouTube to hear the speeches by Owen Jones; Dr Sandhu and Andy Slaughter.

    The rally was organised by Save Our Hospitals campaigners fighting to save Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals along with the London branch of Keep Our NHS Public.