As the NHS celebrates its 65th birthday, Tooting MP and Shadow Minister for London, Sadiq Khan joined Labour MPs, Assembly Members, Councillors and NHS workers to hand-deliver a letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP at the Department of Health this afternoon.
The letter, signed by London MPs from across the capital, raises concern about the pressures that Accident and Emergency services are under in London and urges Jeremy Hunt to personally review the medical evidence behind each of the eight proposed A&E department closures or downgrades at London Hospitals.
With plans to close the A&E department at St Helier Hospital currently under consultation, Sadiq is concerned about the strain this will place on capacity and resources at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
The letter also highlights that the original medical evidence for the closures was prepared between 12 and 36 months ago, and notes a series of worrying statistics including:
- the increased percentage of people waiting more than 4 hours in A&E;
- the increased number of ambulances queuing outside hospitals and
- the increased number of cancelled operations at London hospitals.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“St George’s Hospital is already under enormous pressure, with people in Tooting suffering longer waiting times as a result, yet the Government seems intent on seriously adding to the problem by closing A&Es across London, such as our neighbouring hospital, St Helier.
“The Government needs to think again. We need a clear plan to tackle the pressures London hospitals are facing. It’s time Londoners’ voices were heard.”