Hospital chief responsible for A&E closure pulls out of £120,000 taxpayer funded US study tour – Get West London
The hospital chief responsible for changes to west London A&Es dropped out of a £120,000 taxpayer funded trip to America after campaigners reacted in anguish.
Dr Tracey Batten, the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, pulled out on Friday ahead of the study tour to Boston, New York, Baltimore and Richmond with fellow North West London NHS clinicians, health officials and patient representatives who left on Saturday.
The week-long trip is said to cost £120,000 for the 23-strong delegation to learn from US doctors on how to integrate services to ensure less patients end up in hospital for treatment.
It comes at a time when west London hospitals are trying to do the same, which has included the controversial closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals’ A&Es in September and upcoming changes to the majority of other hospitals.
Changes include the sale of 55 per cent of Charing Cross Hospital, 45 per cent of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and the entire Western Eye Hospital in Marylebone, which all come under Dr Batten’s remit as part of the Shaping a Healthier Future programme.
Dr Batten said: “I took up the opportunity to be part of the tour in order to learn lessons from a number of great examples of integrated and patient-led care and to build our health and social care partnerships across north west London. However, I heard the concerns of people who were at our public board meeting and so have I decided to withdraw.”
North West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is funding the trip using Department of Health funds and was under pressure to cancel the trip outright, however the 22 other delegates went ahead and are currently in the States.
A spokeswoman for the CCG said the trip means clinicians will gain a better understanding of how others are approaching integrated care to ensure they are better informed to lead ‘improvements to care for two million residents across North West London’.
Curated from Hospital chief responsible for A&E closure pulls out of £120,000 taxpayer funded US study tour – Get West London
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