Re-Open Maternity & Children’s Ward Demands Picket

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Local residents, Father Christmas and Charlie Chaplin join the West London Council of Action Xmas picket of Ealing Hospital yesterday – Father Christmas was holding up a cake made by Paul’s bakery in Southall

‘RE-OPEN maternity! Re-open Children’s Ward! Save Ealing Hospital!’ rang out early yesterday morning as over 50 people joined the mass Xmas picket of Ealing Hospital.

A lovely cake with the message: ‘Reopen Ealing maternity and children’s wards 2020’ was donated by a Paul’s bakery in Southall and a Southall restaurant’s donated delicious pakora.

David Girt came to the picket as Charlie Chaplin. He said: ‘Britain had two wonderful inventions, one the cinema and secondly the NHS, founded in 1948.

‘Charlie Chaplin was one of the founders of the cinema, the Charlie Chaplin Children’s Ward at Ealing, named after him, must be re-opened.

‘We have to look after the next generation and we want socialism.’

Pharmacist Danish Kurien said: ‘All of the hospitals are very busy. Every hospital needs an A&E so it was good that the A&E was saved at Ealing Hospital.’

Health visitor Josephine Bonsu told News Line: ‘It is not good enough for Ealing Hospital to have no maternity service. To have a local hospital is the best thing.

‘Maternity saves lives. If a woman has a complication during childbirth, time matters. If she is taken all the way to Northwick Park Hospital or Hillingdon Hospital, it may be too late and she or her baby could die.’

Yasmin Anwar in the PCS union said: ‘All of my three kids were born here at Ealing Hospital. My dad is in Cardiology at the moment. They have been amazing, maternity must be re-opened and the children’s ward as well. The cardiology department must be kept open.

‘The local community are fighting for justice. West London is massive and we need the hospital fully functioning with all departments open. This is why the unions must take action.’

Avi Madahar stopped to sign the petition. He said: ‘My daughter used the Charlie Chaplin Children’s Ward and I would like to see it re-opened.’

Patricia Harper, who used to be a social worker, came from Haringey to the picket. She said: ‘I came today to support the local community down here and reverse the cuts.

‘In my area they closed Chase Farm Hospital down and now everyone has to use North Middlesex or Barnet Hospital. When you go to A&E you have to wait three or four hours.

‘This government must be kicked out. Everyone needs to be together and if it takes strikes and demonstrations that is what we will do.’

Malik Othman said: ‘The whole hospital must be open for the public. The NHS is not a business, it is a public service. It is needed for the people of this area. They use the hospital for everything, medical tests, operations, for all their health needs.

‘The Children and Maternity departments must be re-opened.’