REVEALED: 50% of patients cannot access new hospital
Robyn Rosen ALMOST half of people in the west of the borough will be unable to travel easily to Hornsey s multimillion pound new hospital, it was revealed this week. The shock figure was published in a long-awaited study into transport links at the new h
ALMOST half of people in the west of the borough will be unable to travel easily to Hornsey's multimillion pound new hospital, it was revealed this week.
The shock figure was published in a long-awaited study into transport links at the new hospital leading to serious concerns among residents and campaigners.
Independent consultants, Mott MacDonald, were commissioned by NHS Haringey to obtain a greater understanding of the transport issues in relation to the new Hornsey Central Health Centre in Park Road, due to open in July.
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The study found that 53 per cent of households in the west - including Crouch End and Muswell Hill - are unable to walk to the new hospital within 20 minutes and a third are unable to access the hospital by bus within 20 minutes.
It concluded that the west has the poorest provision of public transport services within the borough and the highest concentration of over 65s. It recommended liaising with TfL to examine opportunities for additional bus services to the site.
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Residents and campaigners say that the study proves what they have been saying since building work began at the site two years ago - that transport provision is not satisfactory and changes need to be made immediately.
John Hajdu, chairman of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, said: "The situation is not acceptable and local residents will find it extremely difficult to go to the clinic and may miss appointments because of this.
"Transport is a huge problem and a shuttle bus is the only reasonable answer."
Crouch End resident Linda Lennard, of the Better Local Healthcare Campaign, said: "I find it extremely worrying that those transport problems have not been resolved while the PCT is pressing ahead. We are worried that people who are unwell or have mobility problems will have their journey made more difficult. It's just not good enough."
Pamela Moffatt, is a wheelchair user from Shepherd's Hill. "I would have to take two buses or one bus and a long wheel to access the site," she said. "It's unacceptable for an elderly or disabled person to do that to get to the doctor."
Another fear is that with a lack of accessibility and highest concentration of car ownership being in the west, more people will drive to the site, causing more congestion and pollution.
Crouch End councillor, David Winskill, said: "There is nothing on the bill that suggests there has been a serious ongoing dialogue with TfL. I will be urging NHS Haringey directors to set up urgent talks to ensure that this project is given priority and taken off the back burner."
A spokeswoman from NHS Haringey said: "NHS Haringey is happy to support any efforts to improve the issues. We have written to TfL and raised the wider issues of bus transport to Hornsey.
"We wish to discuss extending and enhancing the availability of bus services to Hornsey from west Haringey."
Two Crouch End GP practices - the Queenswood Practice in the Clock Tower Medical Centre, Park Road, and Dr Henderson and Partners in Crouch End Medical Centre, Middle Lane - are expected to move into the building in July. They are currently consulting with their 15,000 patients on the move.