Nursing Standard. 29, 21, 0-0.
Published online: 27 January 2015
The RCN has called for the suspension of plans to close a maternity unit and downgrade two emergency rooms in London until guarantees can be made about out-of-hospital provision.
The college has submitted evidence to a review led by Michael Mansfield QC into the Shaping a healthier future programme of hospital reorganisation.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the programme in November 2013, with an assurance that it would give north west London ‘probably the best out-of-hospital care anywhere in the country’.
RCN members said the closure of A&E units at Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Barnet hospitals has damaged patient care and out-of-hospital provision is inadequate. Therefore the proposed downgrade of emergency room services at Ealing and Charing Cross and planned closure of Ealing maternity services should be suspended until there is extra capacity.
RCN London regional director Bernell Bussue said the case for the Shaping a healthier future programme was based on an increase in out-of-hospital care to enable more patients to be kept well or treated at home.
‘In practice, little seem to have been done to boost capacity elsewhere in the system to make up for the closures,’ he said.
‘Proper replacement services, transition arrangements, funding and a workforce plan should have been in place before the existing units were cut.’
To comment on this story email letters@rcnpublishing.
Read More: http://rcnpublishing.com/doi/full/10.7748/ns.126.96.36.19921987