MP Theresa Villiers has visited Barnet Hospital to talk about winter pressure on services and plans to expand emergency facilities. Theresa toured the emergency department last Friday (20 January) morning with chief executive, Debbie Sanders, and A&E consultant, Dr Angshuman Mukherjee.
She was briefed on the expansion that will include a new entrance area in the emergency department and more clinical facilities. Additional staff are being recruited. This will improve flow and efficiency because people walking in will be separated from ambulance drop-offs. The project is due to be completed by November.
Theresa also discussed how the hospital is tackling long waiting times, pressures caused by flu and Covid, and the need to train and retain nurses and doctors.
“I would like to thank the hospital for taking the time to brief me on the situation, and for talking me through their plans to improve services. I also thank them for the work their staff have been doing during this difficult winter,” said Theresa.
“I requested the visit because I was worried about delays and crowding at A&E. It is important to hear first-hand what is happening on the frontline, so I can feed back to Health Ministers on what support is needed for our local NHS and its hard working nurses and doctors. I have repeatedly made the case in Parliament for expanding the NHS workforce and this visit has confirmed that this must be a priority for the Government.
“Dr Mukherjee told me that the emergency department continues to see many more patients than it was designed for, sometimes nearly double the number. The plans for expansion are therefore very welcome. The hospital is confident this will lead to a better patient experience.
“The reasons for spiralling healthcare demand and crowding are complex, but include the worst flu outbreak for ten years.”

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