HEALTH Secretary Lansley and the coalition have decided to close Chase Farm as a District General Hospital and move out its A&E. Maternity and Paediatric departments.
Bill Rogers, secretary of the North East London Council of Action, told News Line: ‘We’ve just heard the news that they are going to proceed with the closures at Chase Farm Hospital and so now is the time to step up our fight to save the hospital. ‘Keeping Chase Farm open as a District General Hospital with all its departments, A&E, Maternity, Paediatrics, is vital for everyone who lives and works in the Enfield area.
‘We are determined to win this battle, and we will occupy.
‘Over the last four and a half years the Council of Action along with the people of Enfield, have stood up to these plans and prevented them from being implemented.
‘We’re going to be picketing the hospital next Tuesday, September 20, and we want a mass picket.
‘Furthermore, on October 1st, we’ve called a conference on the whole issue that Chase Farm must not close and we would appeal to trade unionists, workers, youth, and local community groups to join with us at the conference in our fight to leave the hospital as a fully-functioning District General Hospital.’
Anna Athow, BMA Council member in a personal capacity said: ‘This is what we expected.
‘The Darzi Plan to close two thirds of London’s hospitals never went away.
‘Now Lansley and Cameron are implementing it.
‘All they want is ten hospital trusts left in London and these will be money-making, commercial-type foundation trusts.
‘Lined up for closure behind Chase Farm are King George’s, Central Middlesex, West Middlesex, Ealing and St Helier’s for a start.
‘These District General Hospitals, with their Accident and Emergency Departments, Maternity and Paediatrics, are a lifeline for local people and provide good consultant-led care close to where patients live.
‘They must be defended. Councils of Action must be built in every area to plan occupations to keep hospitals running.
‘The North East London Council of Action calls on the people of Enfield, NHS staff and local unions and campaign groups to mobilise maximum support for an occupation of Chase Farm to keep it open with all its beds and services.
‘We call on everyone in north-east London to attend the conference to discuss this on October 1st at St Paul’s Centre in Enfield.’