Sep 13 2012 By Hannah Bewley
HOSPITAL campaigners are disappointed a Brent MP, who recently promised to spend more effort working for her constituency, will not attend a significant march.
MP for Brent Central, Sarah Teather, said her constituency was her ‘first love’ but will not be meeting campaigners on a march on Saturday to save the A&E at Central Middlesex Hospital.
Pete Firmin, chairman of Brent NHS campaign, said: “She said she is against the closure and wants people to support the campaign but she is not putting her political weight behind it. Given that she is the local MP it is pretty appalling.
“We gave her an open invitation and if she was against the closure she would come along and support the demonstration. She is trying to have it both ways.”
Ms Teather lost her ministerial position in a cabinet reshuffle last week and said she would be spending more time on her constituency.
The MP has long supported the hospital but has encountered criticism for not speaking out against the proposals to close the A&E, meaning patients would have to travel to Northwick Park Hospital, which is 40 minutes away for some.
She has not yet responded to a letter from Mr Firmin urging her to do more to help stop the closure under the Shaping a Healthier Future consultation, which is open for public comment until October.
The consultation proposes the merger of various emergency and acute medical services across west and north-west London.
Ms Teather issued a statement about the threat to the hospital and urged service users and community members to get involved, but some claim she has not gone far enough.
She said: “I am calling on local residents to join me in telling Brent health bosses what they think of their plans by submitting their views to the consultation. Brent’s residents must be listened to on their A&E.”
Campaigners are meeting on Saturday, at 12pm, at the Jubilee Clock, Harlesden, and walking to Central Middlesex Hospital in Park Royal, and are encouraging people to join the demonstration.