Today, Saturday 29th March the National Health Action Party Waltham Forest local group welcomed Dr Louise Irvine back to the borough for a whirlwind tour of Highams Park, Chingford and Walthamstow. Sorry Leyton – we’ll visit soon! Dr Irvine is standing as the NHAP’s primary candidate for the European elections alongside Rufus Hound and Highams Park resident Andrew Sharp (who is the co-founder and leader of the NHAWF group).
Travelling around the borough we encountered many people who are concerned that Whipps Cross Hospital is under threat of closure. Again! To the best of our knowledge closure is not on the cards but we do know that services at the hospital are under review. The results of this review will not start to become clear until June. Services may be moved or downgraded. This would be disastrous for our health, especially as community care nationwide has already been cut back. No care at home, no care at Whipps Cross. Where would the residents of Waltham Forest go to be cared for? If Barts Health Trust do mess with Whipps Cross – our only general hospital- we will need a straightforward and comprehensive answer to this question.
We also know that staff morale at Whipps Cross is terrible. We met quite a few members of Whipps staff today who are feeling unsettled and worried and several who are leaving the hospital in the coming weeks because they can’t bear to continue working at our hospital. Low staff morale tends to lead to poorer quality of care. We will continue to watch the situation at Whipps Cross very closely.
There was comfort to be taken from meeting the people of Waltham Forest. We were reassured to learn that so many people across the borough share our concerns about the NHS and what our politicians are doing to our services. People from across the political spectrum are receptive to our mission to protect and improve our NHS and to stop our politicians continuing to disrupt and privatise our NHS. We received lots of pledges to vote National Health Action Party on 22nd May for which we can only say THANK YOU WALTHAM FOREST!
We’ll be out and about again soon and hope to meet more of our fantastic borough’s residents then.