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Oct 19 2012

NavinSays: Who’s going to save the emergency services?

I questioned Mayor of London Boris Johnson about NorthWest London A&E closures and London’s vital emergency services at Mayor’s Question Time this week. Londoners are facing a dramatic reduction in Police, Fire, Ambulance and A&E provision in the capital due to central government cuts.

I asked the Mayor if he supported Brent residents in their campaign to keep Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E department open. The Mayor refused to commit his support despite his direct role in the London Health Improvement Board and health inequalities in the capital.

The Mayor was challenged over his failure to speak up for the NHS in London and protect A&E departments from closure. Despite repeatedly campaigning for tax cuts for millionaires the Mayor has refused to lobby government to keep A&E units open as he says it is outside of his remit.

The Mayor of London was also challenged on:

  • The London Fire Brigade is facing the loss of up to 30 stations, 30 appliances and hundreds of firefighters.
  • The Metropolitan Police have already lost 1,444 police officers and 1,960 PCSOs in the past two years. With a £230million budget black-hole this will increase.
  • London is set to lose 7 of it’s 31 A&E departments, leaving the remaining 24 to cover an an extra 120,000 residents each.

I am dismayed by the way the mayor has disenfranchised the residents and stakeholders in London on the matter of NHS changes and A&E closures in London. At Mayor’s Question Time Boris denied any responsibility or support for the hundreds and thousands of residents who are campaigning and genuinely concerned about the closure of the A&Es in their area.

London’s emergency services are facing a crisis, the police, fire brigade, ambulance and A&E departments are all being cut back. This will leave London with less blue-light coverage. At a time when London’s emergency services are already stretched this simply does not make sense. London’s population is also forecast to grow to 9 million people – how will the emergency services cope?

Source: Navin Shah

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