Health centre at North Midd?

The proposed health care centre at North Middlesex University Hospital would benefit both Enfield residents and NHS staff.

The proposed health care centre at North Middlesex University Hospital would benefit both Enfield residents and NHS staff.The Forum is calling on local MPs to back plans for a new multi-purpose integrated health care centre at North Middlesex University Hospital that would reduce pressure on the A & E department there and help improve services to residents in the east of the borough.

The Enfield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the main provider of health services in the borough, has shown initial support for the plan by calling for a feasibility study. An estimated 40 percent of patients currently going to North Midd’s A & E could and should be seen by a family doctor, so having GPs on the site would shorten waiting times and ensure only those needing hospital treatment used the emergency service.

Monty Meth, Enfield Over 50s Forum president says: “The centre could be attached to the hospital and provide under-one- roof mental health expertise, advice on social care, diet, exercise, smoking and sexual health. It would be a great place to offer an MoT for all age groups from teenagers to the elderly.”

He explains that the centre would also lead in the battle against health inequality between the east and west sides of Enfield borough, which currently means that women living in Edmonton Green ward, for example, live the last 28 years of their lives in poor health, compared with 15 years for women living in Grange Ward.

“The next couple of months will be crucial if we are to get this project off the ground,” says Monty. “Enfield CCG is merging with Barnet, Haringey, Islington and Camden in March.The funding allocation for the combined CCGs, serving 1.6 million people, has already been fixed until 2023/24. So, almost certainly, extra money will be needed either from the government or NHS England.

“There is a clear danger that with all the emphasis being placed by the government on more funding going to the Midlands and the North, that Enfield will once again be forgotten. So the Forum will now be asking Enfield’s three newly elected MPs to get behind this health centre project which will bring huge benefits and take it direct to Health and Social Care Minister, Matt Hancock.”

This plan to add an integrated health centre to a hospital suggests we might need to look at the role of hospitals. Surely the proposed extra funding for 40 hospitals would be better spent at either end? Preventing people going to hospital in the first place by, for instance, funding Public Health and ensuring better access to GPs and other community health services.

And getting people out of hospital faster, by investing in social care so that people can be discharged to their own homes or care homes to receive the appropriate level of care.