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London A&Es at bottom of league

A&E departments in north-west London are “breaking under the strain” of recent cuts-forced closures that have left patients facing the longest waits in England, an NHS report revealed yesterday.

Cash-strapped London North West Hospital Trust was placed bottom of national NHS league tables just two months after emergency care was axed at its Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospitals in the face of bitter community opposition.

Labour Assembly Member Dr Onkar Sahota said the negative impact of the closures, which were promoted as centralising resources to give better care, was “now crystal clear.”

One in three “serious” cases attending casualty departments in the north-west of the capital were forced to wait four hours or more.

The trust, which merged with Ealing Hospital Trust on October 1, came bottom for A&E waiting times in England over the weeks ending October 19 and 26.

And the data backs a warning from the resident-led Save Our Hospitals campaign that closures would push already stretched emergency departments over the brink.

Campaigners are fighting to stop the trust from also axing Ealing’s maternity department following the merger, as managers struggle to meet their share of a £20 billion government demand for efficiency savings.

Dr Sahota warned: “The closure of Central Middlesex and Hammersmith A&E units have left the remaining hospitals in west London breaking under the strain.

“Despite consistent warnings, the mayor and government have refused to recognise the dangerous impact these closures have had. 

“We can only hope that with the message now devastatingly clear, they will take urgent action to help get A&E services in north-west London back on track.”

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