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CCGs support radical service redesign in London

CCG leaders have lent their backing to one of the largest reconfigurations of hospital services to date, in moves that will radically reshape NHS services for two million patients.

NHS North West London has this week revealed details of its Shaping a healthier future consultation, which proposes closing some A&E units in a bid to tackle huge financial and clinical challenges facing the health economy.

The plans have received the backing of all eight CCGs and from acute providers in North West London, whosaid the changes are clinically and financially necessary. 

NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson last week cited the plans as a blueprint to follow for CCGs looking to reconfigure services, as he discussed the pressing need to make the case for radical changes in his keynote speech at the NHS Confederation conference.

The preferred option in the consultation, which will run for 14 weeks, is to close A&E departments at Ealing, Charing Cross and Central Middlesex hospitals, and consolidate services into five major hospitals.

In a strategic assessment setting out the consultation plans, NHS North West London said: ‘The case for change identified that the health needs of NW London are changing and the right service configuration needs to be in place to meet this need.

‘In addition, a need to increase clinical quality and a £381m financial challenge means that the change in services needs to happen, and happen quickly.'

Dr Ruth O'Hare, chair of Central London CCG, said they supported the consultation. 'The CCG will take forward the resulting plans given adequate resources.'