Silence is golden; or is it? Usually a lack of ‘chatter’ can indicate contentment. In a world where we are encouraged to complain, not necessarily a bad thing if service is driven up, silence can leave a vacuum to be filled.

Take the rebuild of Finchley Memorial hospital.

Leaving aside the flawed consultation on the reconfiguration of Barnet’s health service and the real concerns about Barnet General’s ability to cope with an influx of patients post-closure of the Chase Farm A&E – we don’t seem to have heard much about what is going on at Finchley Memorial.

Months back the Council held a meeting for local residents so that the Primary Care Trust’s plans could be explained and discussed. A useful meeting aired concerns and the PCT confirmed that they wanted to rebuild the hospital on the adjacent land (owned by Camden Council).

Furthermore, that they didn’t need to build housing on any of the land to help pay for it. So we looked forward to a rebuilt local community hospital, an opportunity to push the buildings back away from Granville Road and Bow Lane and perhaps provide much needed patient and visitor parking. And then we heard no more.

So where are we now? Well the silence has lead to rumour upon rumour. Some people have heard the scheme isn’t going ahead, others that the hospital is simply to be demolished. A polyclinic – the latest concept in super-GP surgeries will be on the site too, possibly forcing the closure of much loved single GP practices – or so the rumour has it.

As far as I know the scheme is going ahead and we can expect a new community hospital and walk-in centre. Is there to be a poly clinic?? We don’t know, but I have asked the Chairman & the Chief Executive of the PCT for an update. I will let you know as soon as I do what the latest plans are.