Sep 12 2012 by Jenny Gray, Harrow Observer
northwood pinner cottage hospital
HILLINGDON Hospital could become home to a community unit which had previously been housed in the north of the borough for almost 90 years.
Plans to transfer the Northwood and Pinner Community Unit from Mount Vernon Hospital to the Woodland Centre at Hillingdon Hospital have been hailed as an improvement by NHS bosses.
The ward is run by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. A spokesman for the trust says its new setting at Hillingdon Hospital will offer superior and ‘fit-for-purpose facilities’ including single and double rooms and a large garden.
But some people believe it will be an inconvenience for visitors living near the 22-bed ward’s currrent location.
They also say it is a sign of more facilities being removed from the north of the borough.
Tony Ellis, chairman of Northwood Residents’ Association, said: “After reading the proposals, it is very difficult to argue against the move.
“The current premises are not fit-for-purpose and the suggested new premises will be a huge improvement, as long as they are not watered down.
“However, as 60 per cent of admissions to the ward are from the north of the borough, it will be very inconvenient for visitors.
“Once again, facilities are being taken from the north of the borough. This facility has been available in Northwood for nearly 90 years and a huge part of our history will die if the unit is moved.”
Trevor Begg, chairman of watchdog group Hillingdon LINk, said: “If you read the report, it does appear that we will get a much better facility.
“In terms of visiting people, if you live in the north of the borough, then you have got further to go.”
The community unit now at Mount Vernon in Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, has traditionally housed patients who would have gone to Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital in Pinner Road, Northwood, which closed in 2008.
Now, about 40 per cent of admissions are people from the south of the borough.
The ward provides nursing and rehabilitation services to those with acute health needs, often elderly patients. It also offers respite care, although the number of patients needing this has fallen from 40 in 2008/9 to just six in 2011/12.
n Hillingdon Council’s external services scrutiny committee will discuss the ward transfer proposals at its meeting at Hillingdon Civic Centre tomorrow (Thursday). A consultation will be launched if the trust decides to go ahead.