Open letter to all North East London MPs

We really welcome Bart’s commitment to building a new hospital at Whipps Cross, but are concerned about the funding and details of their proposals. Despite our population growth they’re proposing a cut of at least 51 beds and assume vastly improved community services will support this. We fear there’s a serious risk that sick people could fall through the net.

We’re fighting for a hospital designed for our community’s future needs, properly financed and sustainably built.

We’re concerned that decisions are being made behind closed doors and have real concerns about some of their proposals so we will be sent the following open letter to all the North London MP’s

To All North East London MPs 

We are writing to you as our parliamentary representatives for North East London about our concerns regarding the new Whipps Cross Hospital.

While welcoming the development of a much needed new hospital we have major concerns outlined below:

  • 51 fewer beds are proposed for the new hospital at Whipps Cross (running pre-Covid at 98% occupancy) despite a huge population growth across our area.
  • The so called ‘flexibility’ of the bed plans will mean more patients from the Whipps Cross catchment going to other hospitals in North East London. 

There is already evidence of bed shortages in Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust. Fewer beds in Whipps Cross will mean pressure on hospitals from Hackney to Romford with the risk that some residents may not receive the timely hospital care that they need.

  • The highly specialised and valued Palliative Care Unit at the Margaret Centre and the holistic multi-disciplinary services it offers, will not be provided as a distinct  specialist unit in the new Whipps Cross.

In practice this will mean more patients dying in distress on hospital wards or at home, without the support patients and their families currently receive from the Margaret Centre. No comparable services exist for the populations of Waltham Forest and much of Redbridge.

  • Although Barts Trust justify these cuts in beds and service provision by assuming  extra investment in the community, everybody knows that community services both in health and social services are under-funded, under -resourced and overstretched.
  • The imperative for the new Whipps Cross to be net zero carbon and truly sustainable also calls for appropriate resourcing.
  • We believe that all these issues are linked to insufficient government funding to build the new hospital and ask you to use your position to advocate on our behalf for more funding, more beds and a ring-fenced palliative Care unit at the new Whipps Cross.

This needs your urgent attention as in February 2020 Barts are seeking planning permission for their outline plans. It would be a travesty if this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for a new hospital yielded the same unsafe pressures as currently. 

Therefore  

We are asking you all to work together to raise our concerns with the Secretary of State for Health, and in the House of Commons. Thank you.

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