SW London NHS 'reconfiguration'

MQT on 2013-05-22
Session date: 
May 22, 2013
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In an open letter to the Government, Chris Grayling recently raised concerns that service reconfiguration in SW London will lead to the 'cannibalisation' of NHS services. Do you agree?


Answer for SW London NHS 'reconfiguration'

Answer for SW London NHS 'reconfiguration'

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, Onkar, thank you very much. This is a question about Chris Grayling's [Conservative Member of Parliament for Epsom and Ewell] concerns about his constituency, which is actually just outside London. The Clinical Commissioning Groups, the seven Clinical Commissioning Groups involved in that decision are going to be giving their views in the course of the next few weeks. There is going to be a widespread public consultation probably in June. I think really that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on these proposals; it is up to local Health Commissioners, local commissioners of services and clinicians to decide.

Onkar Sahota (AM): Well. Mr Mayor, you have repeatedly given me this response that you believe the decision will be led by clinicians. You will know that the College of Emergency Medicine, the organisation representing Accident and Emergency (A&E) doctors, recently issued a report in which they made two key recommendations: (1) that urgent-care centres need to be established and collocated with A&E departments; and (2) that there is a significant problem with recruiting emergency doctors because the doctors are currently overworked and do not look at it as a good career progression. In London, we have got nine A&E departments closing and they are proposing to put standalone urgent care centres. Also, the evidence recently published in the Mail on Sunday says that there has been a 37% increase in emergency deaths in patients in Newark-on-Trent. The question is, do we wait for a firing gun in London before you intervene?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): My view is that overall there needs to be better outcomes for all Londoners and that is my job to work for that. I am concerned particularly about deaths disproportionately taking place at weekends when there is inadequate cover and I think we do need to think about reform and about ways of bringing health services closer to people.