NHS Spending

Part of EU Nationals in the Uk – in the House of Commons at 7:23 pm on 6th July 2016.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party 7:23 pm, 6th July 2016

My right hon. Friend made a very powerful speech about North Middlesex hospital. I am pleased to say that I have a positive relationship with the managers at North West London Hospitals Trust as they have always made themselves open and available to answer my questions. I hope that they will read Hansard and see my right hon. Friend’s warning in relation to the difficulties that she has had with previous managers at North Middlesex hospital and will do even more to provide transparency in our area.

Let me talk now about my concerns about the finances at Northwick Park. Back in 2014-15, North West London Hospitals Trust had a deficit of some £55.9 million. That had risen to £100 million by the beginning of this financial year. The trust management board is optimistic that it can get that deficit down over the course of the next financial year to just over £88 million, which is an enormous sum in its own right and will, if that figure is achieved, still be without question one of the biggest deficits in the NHS in England. To achieve that target, it has committed to axe 140 posts. My concern, and the concern of many of my constituents, is that services at Northwick Park and indeed in other parts of the trust will be affected despite the intentions of the management.

The situation at Northwick Park has been compounded by the decision to close a number of accident and emergency departments in north-west London in recent years. In particular, the decision to close Central Middlesex hospital has undoubtedly had an impact, increasing the pressure on the services at Northwick Park hospital. Although it was great to see some new investment at Northwick Park—we now have an upgraded accident and emergency department—no extra beds were created in the hospital, which is a major concern.

I recognise that time is a concern, so let me underline my last point, which is about the funding of Harrow clinical commissioning group. In the past three years for which parliamentary figures were available, it has received the lowest funding of any London CCG. The Secretary of State was very generous in offering to go away and review that situation. I ask the Minister who is due to reply to this debate whether he would be willing to receive a deputation of local general practitioners and me to discuss the funding of Harrow CCG, which is one of the causes of the difficult financial situation at Northwick Park hospital that serves my constituents.