Local NHS Trust deny funding crisis

Attack by GLA rep refuted. 90% of patients to be able see GP within two days

In response to local GLA Assembly representative, Tony Arbour�s recent comments condemning large deficits in the local NHS trust, Hounslow�s PCT claim that there is no substance to his argument saying there was nothing new in what he said.

A spokesperson for the trust said, �We have always been entirely open and honest about the size of our inherited deficit, and have been working hard with West Middlesex Hospital, and other local partners to eliminate it over the next 3 years."

They have recruited 15 new GPs to Hounslow over the last 18 months, which the trust says is a great achievement for "a borough that is notoriously hard to recruit to." More GPs will mean that patients have to wait less time to see a GP, and they claim to be well on target for 90% of patients to be able to see a GP within 2 working days by the end of this financial year.

In addition, new premises are being built across the borough. Within 5 years they expect to see 60 GPs (about a third of the workforce) based in brand new buildings.

The trust has made their Local Delivery Plan available to patients and the public. It outlines their plans to improve services over the next 3 years.

Alan Keen MP, the Labour MP for Feltham and Heston blamed the financial shortfall on the former Conservative government and pointed to the appointment of new GPs and the building of new health centres under the public private partnerships as "a stark contrast to the devay and decline that characterised the Tory years."

Tony Arbour describe his response as astonishing saying, "if he thinks that success is Hounslow PCT making £4M of cuts last year and a £4.7M deficit this year, then he is truly Alan in Wonderland. Hounslow, despite the good work carried out by the PCT, has been failed by its Labour MPs and Government. Hounslow residents deserve to be represented by people in touch with reality."

The future of the A&E unit at Hammersmith Hospital remains uncertain despite of these reassurances. It is noteworthy that as concern rises about the possible closure of NHS casualty units, Britain's first private sector A&E opened in Brentford this week. See BrentfordTW8.com for more details.

October 3, 2003

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