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London Assembly Member for Hillingdon, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, visited the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in Slough earlier this month after it emerged that proposals to expand Heathrow could force the plant to move out of the area.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM visits waste plant threatened by Heathrow expansion

London Assembly Member for Hillingdon, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, visited the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in Slough earlier this month after it emerged that proposals to expand Heathrow could... Read more

Commenting on GPs in North West London being urged by nearby Hospitals not to refer patients to struggling A&E departments, Labour’s London Assembly Health Spokesperson Dr Onkar Sahota said:

GPs urged not to refer patients to struggling A&Es in West London

Commenting on GPs in North West London being urged by nearby Hospitals not to refer patients to struggling A&E departments, Labour’s London Assembly Health Spokesperson Dr Onkar Sahota said: Read more

North West London A&Es handling the most serious emergency cases have missed waiting time targets every month since the closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals’ A&E departments a year ago new analysis has revealed. NHS data uncovered by Labour London Assembly Member Dr Onkar Sahota shows that hospital A&E departments in Imperial, North West London, Hillingdon and West Middlesex Hospital Trusts have not once managed to see 95% of their A&E patients within 4 hours since the closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&Es in September 2014. The analysis comes after the Independent Healthcare Commission, led by Michael Mansfield QC, last week recommended halting further A&E closures in North West London.

West London faces ‘devastating’ A&E winter crisis after closures result in a year of missed waiting time targets

North West London A&Es handling the most serious emergency cases have missed waiting time targets every month since the closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals’ A&E departments a year... Read more

New data from the London Fire Brigade has revealed that in the first full year after Boris Johnson forced the closure of 10 London fire stations, including withdrawing one engine from Ealing, fire engine response times increased in two thirds of London’s wards. In Ealing 14 wards have seen an increase in response times. The analysis from Onkar Sahota AM, comes as the London Fire Brigade prepares to launch a consultation on proposals to meet £6.4m of cuts demanded by the Mayor. Amongst the proposals are plans to permanently cut 13 further fire engines, but Dr Sahota said “Londoners should be aware that there is an alternative that won’t see their fire engines cut, and that will prioritise their safety.”

Fire engines taking longer to reach life threatening incidents in Ealing since Boris’ station closures

New data from the London Fire Brigade has revealed that in the first full year after Boris Johnson forced the closure of 10 London fire stations, including withdrawing one engine... Read more

  • If rents continue to rise at current rate the average 2-bed home rent in the capital will reach £2,007 per month in January 2020
  • Londoners would need to earn nearly £120,000 a year to affordably rent a 2-bed home by 2020

Average London rents to hit £2,000 a month by the start of the next decade

If rents continue to rise at current rate the average 2-bed home rent in the capital will reach £2,007 per month in January 2020 Londoners would need to earn nearly... Read more

Responding to the recommendation by Michael Mansfield QC that further closures to A&E services in North West London must be halted, Labour London Assembly Health Spokesperson Dr Onkar Sahota AM, said:

Recommendation to halt A&E closures in North West London "welcome but shouldn't come as a surprise to government"

Responding to the recommendation by Michael Mansfield QC that further closures to A&E services in North West London must be halted, Labour London Assembly Health Spokesperson Dr Onkar Sahota AM,... Read more

New analysis of NHS data has revealed that ambulance services have failed to meet monthly target response times in Ealing since March 2014. The analysis, by Local London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota AM, comes after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) recommended last week that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) be placed into special measures. Mr Sahota said the crisis facing the ambulance service is the culmination of “years of underfunding and understaffing”.

Ambulances taking longer to reach incidents in Ealing as government cuts bite

New analysis of NHS data has revealed that ambulance services have failed to meet monthly target response times in Ealing since March 2014. The analysis, by Local London Assembly Member... Read more

The Mayor of London has been urged to back down on plans to permanently remove 13 fire engines from service in the capital. Local London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota AM wrote to the Mayor after it emerged the proposals included removing a fire engine from Ealing fire station. The letter, which comes ahead of this week’s meeting of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), warns Boris Johnson that his proposed cuts risk having “dire consequences for Londoners” and asks the Mayor to consider alternative proposals which do not threaten frontline services.

Boris urged to back down on fire cuts which could see Ealing fire engine axed

The Mayor of London has been urged to back down on plans to permanently remove 13 fire engines from service in the capital. Local London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota AM... Read more

e8.jpgBack in March last year I first asked the Mayor to look into overcrowding on the E8 after local residents and the Olde Hanwell Resident Association got in touch to say that there was a growing problem.

Despite the Mayor’s insistence a few months later that there wasn’t a problem, TfL after my urging have now come forward with plans to both extend the route toward Hounslow, as well as introduce a fleet of double decker buses.

The new route will also serve West Middlesex Hospital. The campaign for a direct bus between Ealing hospital and Northwick Park continues.

You can have your say on the new plans on TfL’s new consultation website: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/e8-110-h28#Route

London buses are the backbone of our transport network. With some parts of Ealing and Hillingdon being the worst connected parts of London because of the lack of rail or the underground, buses are absolutely vital to keep our communities connected.

Have you got a problem with your local bus route? Get in touch with me here.

Victory for passengers on the E8

Back in March last year I first asked the Mayor to look into overcrowding on the E8 after local residents and the Olde Hanwell Resident Association got in touch to...

Access to healthcare, the quality of treatment, and health education are suffering under the pressure of rapid population growth and government cuts – yet the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, whose job it is to reduce health inequalities, has done nothing about it.

Londoners are living longer. Yet for an increasing number of individuals, more of their years are spent suffering with ill health or disability. Across the city men have lost six years of healthy life expectancy and women women fare worse still, losing 8.6 years between 2001 and 2011.

Whilst the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest parts of the city may be narrowing, the gap in healthy life expectancy has expanded rapidly. In 2015 a woman from Tower Hamlets can expect to suffer for 18 years more in poor health than a woman from wealthy Richmond, almost double the gap from ten years ago. This inequality isn’t only unjust, but places considerable strain on social and health services.

Strategic leadership lacking

London has a unique health environment. We have fewer smokers, less risk of heart disease and lower cancer rates than the rest of the country. On the other hand we have a much a younger population –  but this has meant higher rates of childhood obesity, HIV and serious mental illness. To ensure the NHS and social services match up to the challenges in the capital we require a level of strategic leadership which has been sorely lacking under Boris Johnson.

Consider the silence over Christmas 2014 as London’s hospitals were revealed to have experienced the worst A&E delays in the history of the NHS – only three of London’s 19 trusts hit their waiting time targets. Some hospitals, as a result of the government’s decision to close other nearby A&E units, saw just over half their patients within four hours. The target is 95 per cent.

When the overstretched ambulance response times grew to historic levels we heard nothing from our mayor – not to even  express shock or disappointment, yet alone show the leadership Londoners are crying out for.

Major health inequalities

The mayor’s direct role in London is to reduce health inequalities, yet here too we see failure and disinterest from Boris Johnson. Over the eight years of Johnson’s mayoralty, only three years have been covered by any kind of plan to tackle health inequalities.

In response to the growing pressure the mayor faced to take action on health and inequalities, the former health minister Lord Darzi was appointed to lead a London Health Commission. He was tasked with collating the challenges and proposing solutions to the capital’s key health challenges. Lord Darzi published his finding in October 2014 to almost universal approval and enthusiasm.

One year on and most of the Commission’s 64 recommendations remain a dream or ambition. Without a serious mayor to advocate for the recommendations they will not happen. The loss of strategic health leadership in London and the Mayor’s unwillingness to step into the breach has been lamented by healthcare leaders and politicians alike.

Perhaps, therefore the most significant recommendation by Lord Darzi was the creation of a health commissioner for London, supported by an agency comprising of Public Health England’s London office and the GLA’s health team to provide strategic solutions to strategic problems.

With an agency of significant resourcing and influence, many of the underlying causes of health inequality could be addressed, and many of the structural barriers between local government, NHS commissioners and providers could be negotiated and overcome.

London being left behind

As London’s health landscape stagnates, Greater Manchester is forging ahead with a £6bn programme of health and social care devolution. We need this type of thinking in London right now – because we face even bigger health challenges in the future. London’s high cost of living has led to a recruitment crunch in the London Ambulance Service, whilst the city is short of 8,000 nurses.

Many of our GPs are reaching retirement with nowhere near enough recruited to fill their place. Population growth is rocketing at the same time as investment is stagnating and many of the community-based services  Londoners rely on are being cut.

After eight years of Boris Johnson, and despite growing health inequalities, Londoners still await a mayor with both the energy and passion to bring about the kind of radical strategic change the city needs to become healthier and fairer.

London’s NHS is in critical condition

Access to healthcare, the quality of treatment, and health education are suffering under the pressure of rapid population growth and government cuts – yet the mayor of London, Boris Johnson,...

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