Myself and fellow ward Councillor Andrew Steed were lucky enough to lead the march, holding the banner at the front as we travelled from Acton Park to Ealing Common.
|Andrew Steed and Gary Malcolm marching from Acton Park|
Check out these two posts on my blog about the consultation process and a recent stall we set up in Hanwell to raise the profile of this important issue.
There are many reasons why downgrading our local hospitals is a bad move:
- There are more people in Ealing and the surrounding area now so cutting heath care provision is not sensible
- I am a diabetic and have been to Ealing Hospital many times for treatment. Ealing Hospital and other local hospitals provide a lot of good services.
- Closing hospital wards will mean people will be forced to travel larger distances to get treatment or to visit loved ones or friends.
- A small share of hospital spend is spent on Accident and Emergency services.
|Acton march arrives at Ealing Common|
When the Southall march arrived the number of people had swelled, hugely. Fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Nigel Bakhai was present with his banner and supporters.
|Hanwell Councillor Nigel Bakhai (left)|
I see the plan of NHS North West London as a type of Hospital X Factor, where the four with the most votes survives.
This isn't the way to consult on major changes about our health service, pitting each area against each other.
The consultation does not properly look at the likely need of Ealing in the next ten or twenty years’ of time. It also makes statements that are not backed up by facts.
Others will say this is step one where we downgrade half our hospitals and then close them later in part two.
Myself and a range of speakers from different political parties gave our views on the hospital downgrade plans. The view from the stage really showed us how many people are now behind the cause...
|Some of crowd at the rally|
See a You Tube clip that was taken of my speech.
When I mentioned that I was diabetic and used Ealing hospital I think people understood that as a patient things will worsen if we get rid or our A&E or maternity wards.
|Gary Malcolm speaking at the rally|
If you have signed the petition, thank you, but please get your neighbours to sign the petition. We need to double the number of petition signatures and we can only do this by hard work.
I say No to hopsital downgrades and No to Hospital X Factor !!!