‘We will do everything to keep our hospital open!’

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Father Christmas visits yesterday morning’s ‘Keep Chase Farm Hospital Open’ picket called by the North East London Council of Action
Father Christmas visits yesterday morning’s ‘Keep Chase Farm Hospital Open’ picket called by the North East London Council of Action

CARS hooted and people waved to Santa Claus on the Chase Farm Christmas picket, organised by the North-East London Council of Action yesterday.

There was tremendous support for the picket and the calls to occupy the hospital to stop the closure of the Accident and Emergency, Maternity and Paediatrics departments.

Paulette Wright, a social worker, told News Line at the picket: ‘It’s disgusting because from here to Barnet would take an hour, especially in peak hours.

‘There’s no parking space in Barnet Hospital if you go there to visit. It’s a long way for blue lights.

‘Enfield is a big borough. Why can’t we have our own hospital?

‘For a lot of old people to reach Barnet or North Middlesex, it is a long way.

‘We’ve had other hospitals close down: St Michael’s, the War Memorial and Highlands hospitals.

‘Chase Farm A&E is always full.

‘Where are all those people going to go?

‘We should do everything to keep the hospital open and occupy it to stop it closing.

‘This is our future. What will happen to people later on?’

One of the hospital midwives, Sue, said: ‘It’s not a lost cause. We are determined to keep this hospital open.

‘We will do everything we can.’

Taser Mehmet, whose wife is expecting to have her baby delivered at Chase Farm, declared: ‘It’s out of order. They will put people’s lives at risk, children’s lives at risk.

‘This hospital has always been here for our children, it’s always offered a good service.

‘The midwives here are very good.

‘It is a very relaxing environment.

‘My wife is in the maternity now and she is due next month.

‘We definitely should stop the closure. No hospital should close.

‘You don’t want to go down the American route where people aren’t protected. It would be healthcare for the rich.

‘I’d back a sit-in. You’ve got to get noticed and get the support of the people.’