Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Enfield North, has raised further, serious concerns regarding the proposed redevelopment of Chase Farm Hospital, after it was revealed that there will be only 48 in-patient, surgical beds on-site once the redevelopment has been completed in three years time – almost ten times fewer beds than Chase Farm had as recently as early 2013.
This information became clear at a stakeholder meeting to discuss the future plans for the Hospital, which was attended by Ms Ryan and other local residents, at the Dugdale Centre, Enfield on Tuesday 30th June.
In 2013, only months before the Conservative led Government closed the Accident and Emergency Department and maternity services at Chase Farm, the Hospital had 470 beds. Currently Barnet Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital have 445 and 420 beds respectively. The private Kings Oak Hospital, which is situated next to Chase Farm, has 47 beds.
Whilst there will be a High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Hospital - offering more extensive care than in a normal ward – just 4 HDU beds are planned. No emergency surgeries can take place on-site, given that Chase Farm will not have an Intensive Care Unit.
The redevelopment of the Hospital has been mired in controversy. The proposals for the new buildings have been reducing in size from the outset – falling from 32,000 square metres to the current figure of 22,500sqm. Hardworking NHS staff living on-site have been forced to leave their accommodation – and in some cases subjected to eviction proceedings – to make way for the redevelopment and no guarantee has been provided that any future land sales at Chase Farm will see the money re-invested directly back into the Hospital. It is also increasingly apparent there will be no guarantee nor future commitment to locate a GP Surgery on-site, despite previous presentations from the Royal Free London NHS Trust, which runs Chase Farm Hospital, indicating this would be the case.
Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Enfield North, said:
“There have been those who questioned my definition of Chase Farm becoming little more than a cottage Hospital. But I was right – this is going to be a very small Hospital indeed.
We desperately need investment in Chase Farm and I welcome plans for more modern facilities, but the Hospital will be left as a shadow of its former self.
I am deeply concerned that, with three years to go until the scheduled completion date for redevelopment, these plans could get even smaller, but I’ll be fighting for every bed and square metre at Chase Farm and I will continue to campaign to protect the Hospital from any more cuts.”
1. Information on future bed capacity at Chase Farm Hospital, as well as information on current bed levels at surrounding Hospitals, was provided during the meeting. In July 2013 an inspection report by the Care Quality Commission said Chase Farm Hospital had more than 470 in-patient beds: https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/old_reports/RVLC7_Chase_Farm_Hospital_Trust_HQ_INS1-766398475_Responsive_-_Concerning_Info_24-07-2013.pdf