Whilst our GP services remain under threat from the NHS bosses’ plans to hive off same day emergency care in to ‘hubs’,  in our Hospitals  there is good collaborative working to improve services for patients.

On Monday 13th May the North West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre was formally launched at Central Middlesex and is proving to be a big hit with both patients and staff, as well as helping to bring waiting times down – so definitely a good new story. 

Here in Ealing the Community Diagnostic Centre is on course to open on 24th June in Ealing Hospital allowing GPs to directly refer patients for scans and other diagnostics – definitely another good news story. 


Plans by NW London NHS bosses (ICB) to remove same day emergency care from GP practices and replace it with ‘Same Day Access Hubs’ staffed mainly by non – doctors were leaked in January and caused outrage among GPs, campaigners and other residents-  none of whom had been consulted. 

‘Hub’ call handlers, like NHS 111, would divert almost all callers to non–doctors such as Physician Associates, Pharmacists and Nursing Associates – with a token GP to “supervise” the handling of calls.  

Our GPs have raised huge concerns about the risk to patients safety of diagnoses being carried out by non-doctors and the loss of continuity of care and undermining the patient GP relationship – and we agree! 

A campaign was launched and publicised in our March Newsletter, which has resulted in the bosses plans being ‘paused’, but the threat to our GP practices still remains.

No pressure from NHS England to introduce Hubs!

NW London bosses pretend these Hubs are driven by national policy and instruction, yet only NW London and one other ICB are pushing these proposals. As for national instructions, Amanda Doyle, NHS England’s Primary Care Director has stated that its ‘up to local systems’ what they implement. 

The ‘Hubs’ were tested in ten Primary Care Networks in NW London, but there has been no evaluation or any data published on their effectiveness. You can be sure if they had been successful it would have been well publicised! 

Downgrading GPs and saving money

It is very much part of Government Strategy to deskill and devalue the role of GPs and by doing so, save money.  There is a £1.4 billion pot available for Primary Care, but only to employ Physician Associates and other non doctors, not to employ the staff we most want to see – nurses and GPs. 

We now have a bizarre situation around the country, that fully qualified GPs are unable to find locum and full-time posts, or are being made unemployed, with their work being increasingly done by less qualified and much cheaper staff!!

So where are we now?

Unfortunately there has been no agreement reached with the Local Management Committee (GPs). Councillors from various Boroughs have joined the opposition along with some MPs.

NW London NHS bosses are trying to deflect opposition by claiming  ‘it’s not a top down process at all’ and claiming it’s up to Primary Care Networks (groups of GP practices) to decide how best to improve access – supposedly in conjunction with patients!  

However, you can be sure there will be a big carrot (money) for those PCNs that adopt Hubs, as well as a threat of loss of funding if they don’t. To date there has been no consultation with patients that we are aware of!

John Lister’s latest article on the NW London plans is well worth a read here

Ealing Save Our NHS and other NW London campaigners will continue to campaign against these plans and defend our GP services. 

Check out our latest leaflet here 

Please sign the Petition to oppose the Hubs here



That was the verdict of the Medical Director for North West London’s new Elective Orthopaedic Centre (EOC) at Central Middlesex Hospital, at the formal launch on Monday 13th March, which we attended along with staff, councillors and local MPs. We particularly enjoyed Dawn Butler MP’sNo more NHS Cuts comment  – she’s in the photo above with the scissors!

The Centre aims to see around 4,000 patients a year who need routine bone and joint surgery. It is   a result of a collaboration between the four hospital trusts in North West London and is managed by our local trust, London North West.  

When you are referred to the Centre your local hospital consultant will ‘follow you’ and do the surgery. All follow up care will be back at home, in the community or at your normal hospital.

It’s had £9 million pounds of investment, recruited over 100 staff and has state-of-the art purpose-built theatres, purely for orthopaedic surgery. 

There has also been genuine consultation and involvement of staff and the public, in particular to deal with travel difficulties across North West London. Free patient transport is available for those with either long, expensive or difficult journeys and for those who need medical support or have difficulties walking – pretty unheard of in the NHS.

It shows what the NHS can do when it listens to clinicians, patients and the public, such a contrast to the approach of the NW London bosses over GP Access! 

Let’s have more of this innovative and collaborative working – not gimmicks and use of private hospitals as favoured by both the Government and unfortunately Labour too – they don’t work!

You can read more about the EOC here 


This month we met again with London North West NHS Trust Chief Executive, Pippa Nightingale and Mark Titcomb, the Managing Director, for Ealing & Central Middlesex Hospitals for an update on services at Ealing Hospital.

Here are some highlights:-

  • The Community  Diagnostic  Centre is on course to open on 24th June. GPs will be able to directly refer patients for diagnostic tests such as CT scans, MRI, Ultrasound and Lung Function, speeding up diagnosis and treatment ( hurray)
  • A&E waits are still up and made worse by ambulances dropping off patients without triaging them first.
  • Although there is less capital this year, some long-standing and unseen maintenance issues are to be addressed. The building of a new A&E will need a business case for funding.
  • Ealing Council’s Local Plan, which includes building flats in front of the hospital on the car park is not supported by the Trust who actually own the land.
  • Improvements are to be made to signs and direction around the Hospital as they acknowledge they are not good – we agree!




Hundreds of postcards have been sent to our local MPs with a very clear message – support the restoration of our NHS, emergency funding to help with the crisis and an end to privatisation. With a general election on the way we need to keep up the pressure.

It is Carnival season soon and we have booked a Stall at Hanwell Carnival on Saturday 15th June which is always a big boost for our campaign. We get to talk to loads of supportive people and hope to get lots of postcards signed too, with a giant postbox for posting them. Our much loved skeleton face-in the-hole photo opportunity will once again be there for the kids. 

You can read our postcard here

With an election coming up, the Restore the People’s NHS London conference will be an important opportunity for NHS campaigners, newcomers and all those passionate about ending the NHS crisis and saving it for future generations to come together.

NHS activists, health workers, and respected experts will be speaking about how and why we should be fighting for a full restoration of the founding principles of the NHS.

There will also be workshops about a range of issues including influencing decision makers, building alliances, working with the press, and campaigning on the streets to win over the public.

You can book here


Ealing Council’s ‘Careline’, which provided an emergency call button alert service to help vulnerable residents in need has now closed.  

At a recent campaign meeting organised by Ealing Reclaim Social Care Action Group and others we heard from Careline users that the ‘replacement service’ provided by Harrow Council is not a like for like service at all and most importantly does not provide a responder service. This could mean some people could receive no help at all if they fell – disgraceful! 

Careline was provided to eligible social services clients and at night and weekends to sheltered housing residents. The ‘Campaign for Action in Sheltered Housing’ told the meeting that residents were getting confusing messages and in April only 35 out of a 1000 residents have taken up the new service. Many of them were presented with a list of seven providers, far more expensive than the Council or just not as good.

Up until recently the Council had claimed the changeover was going well and they were working closely with residents, but this is clearly not the case!  

Under pressure from campaigners the Council has given some assurances that problems will be addressed, but campaign groups are understandably not convinced.  It clearly it will be a worse service for many people or in some cases too expensive to take up, leaving vulnerable people at risk.

Ealing Save Our NHS will continue to support the campaign for a like for like Careline service and safety for all.


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