The recent ‘consultation’ undertaken by the health service into the reconfiguration of health services in Barnet has – surprise surprise – resulted in Option 1 being chosen. This was the favoured option at the start and one the Council firmly opposed. Despite a convincing argument that the ‘Barnet Option’ should be formally assessed and put to the resident’s – the health commissars ignored the Council (and the MPs and the Assembly Member).

Having argued that Barnet General should remain a fully fledged acute hospital backed by another fully fledged acute hospital at the Royal Free with two community hospitals at Finchley and Colindale. We said Barnet was already at capacity and closing the A&E at Chase Farm was madness until Barnet was expanded and had proven it could cope with redirected demand from Chase Farm. So what are we going to get – Barnet’s A&E serving the north of the Borough, south Hertfordshire and Enfield. Chase farm will provide ‘elective surgery’ but if anything goes wrong whilst a patient is on the operating theatre, such as cardiac arrest – they have to down scalpel and bundle the poor patient into an ambulance and get him or her across the A&E at Barnet – and we all know how easy that journey is!

On top of that the option being pursued by the health service ignore the vital services provided by the Royal Free for the residents in the south of the Borough. The Royal Free is run by a Trust that ‘reports’ to a different Primary Care Trust. We are concerend that the Royal Free is slowly being starved of resources as more and more resources are diverted to the new UCL Hospital on Euston Road. Is the Royal Free safe?? I think the plan is for UCL to provide acute services for Camden leaving the Royal Free to wither and die. On top of a Barnet general that will be flooded with emergencies from the closed Chase farm – it doesn’t look good for Barnet residents.