Harrow health care concerns raised at the Commons

gtIf there was ever a much-loved and vital service that told the story of the NHS funding crisis in north-west London, it was the walk-in centre at Alexandra Avenue closed by the Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that has been put into special measures because its forecast deficit of £40 million, said Gareth Thomas MP for Harrow west  who was speaking at the Commons NHS debate on 24 April 2019.
“Not only is there no prospect that the Alexandra Avenue walk-in centre will be reopened, but other walk-in centres that serve Harrow are vulnerable to the threat of closure at a moment’s notice” warned Mr Thomas.
Another walk-in centre in Harrow is now only by appointment. The walk-in centre crisis in Harrow have an impact on Northwick Park Hospital that has not met the A&E waiting target as over the past five years, 25% of patients in A&E have not been seen within four hours.
In describing another damaging impact of the NHS cuts, Mr Thomas said “For the first time, the maximum two-week wait for a first consultant appointment after an urgent GP referral is not being met, according to the latest data on our area”.
The Harrow Monitoring Group has been reporting concerns about the Harrow CCG performance whether it is about the walk-in clinics, closing the NHS desk at the Wealdstone Centre, restricted hospital procedures under PPwT policy, quality of GP services  (the Care Quality Commission inspections found that at least seven GP practices in Harrow require improvement – a failing category) or the impingement upon patient rights where the CCG has instructed GPs not to prescribe the items which the NHS England had said should be prescribed if the patents do not wish to buy.
It can only be good that Mr Thomas raised the concerns.
The Harrow CCG is responsible for planning and buying (commissioning) many of the health services needed by approximately 260,000 people registered with GPs in Harrow. Its budget deficit situation has serious implications for the quality of GP services as Harrow CCG has full responsibility for the management of the primary care medical services where GPs have to operate within the tight finances allowed to them.