Intended for healthcare professionals


Report calls for halt to “deeply flawed” emergency department closure programme

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 04 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6583
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

The downgrading of hospital emergency departments and acute care services in northwest London should be reversed, as it has damaged the care of patients and wasted money, an independent inquiry has found.

The reconfiguration of nine NHS hospitals across northwest London led to the closure of several emergency departments and other acute care services as part of the “Shaping a Healthier Future” programme launched in 2012. The reduction in acute care capacity was to be offset by extra investment in community based services.1

But the Independent Healthcare Commission for North West London, led by Michael Mansfield QC, concluded that the programme’s planning and implementation had been “deeply flawed” and advised that further changes should not go ahead.2

The commission said that the closure of two emergency departments …

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