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:
“When A&Es resort to telling GPs to avoid sending their patients there you know there is a serious problem.
“Since nearby A&Es were closed last year North West London has consistently missed its waiting time targets. Urging GPs not to refer patients to A&E departments does nothing to face up to the root cause of the problem, that no matter how hard doctors work, the system is massively overstretched.
“The Government have to recognise how seriously their cuts and closures are affecting North West London A&Es which are now struggling so much to cope with demand that they are effectively forced to close their doors.”
The email to GPs in North West London from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust revealed by Dr Sahota AM read:
Dear GP colleagues,
Imperial College Healthcare GP update Tuesday 8 December 2015
Along with other hospitals across north west London, we currently have a very large number of patients in our emergency departments. This is putting significant pressure on services across the Trust.
Both A&Es at St Mary's and Charing Cross hospitals remain open to blue-light services. However, we need to alleviate pressure on our services to ensure continued high quality care for all. We are asking GPs to do all they can to help care for patients locally and not refer patients into A&E and urgent services today (Tuesday 8 December) unless it is absolutely essential.
We appreciate your support.
Joselyn King | GP engagement manager | Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust