Here you can find out about the campaigning and history behind the changes to Chase Farm Hospital.

For up to date information on the re-build plans for the hospital please click HERE

History and where we are now.

Nick started the Hands Off Our Hospital campaign in 2004 in response to the then Labour Government's plans to downgrade Chase Farm Hospital. Nick opposed the BEH Clinical Strategy which recommended replacing 24-hour A&E with an Urgent Care Centre and consultant-led maternity with a midwife-led unit.

On becoming an MP Nick continued to campaign against changes at Chase Farm. In March 2011 he led a cross-party delegation to meet Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, the result of which saw Enfield Council given the opportunity to produce a plan to rival the BEH Clinical Strategy and save services at Chase Farm.

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) ruled that the council's plan "does not provide any credible alternative to the current proposals" and therefore backed the BEH Clinical Strategy. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley endorsed their decision, leading Nick to criticise both the IRP and the Health Secretary, saying "I'm disappointed by the IRP's decision. Frankly I think it's the wrong decision. Chase Farm Hospital should have a 24-hour A&E unit, end of story. I also think the Secretary of State is wrong to endorse the IRP's decision".

In September 2013 the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group gave the go-ahead for the BEH Strategy, and with it the downgrading of Chase Farm - despite not all of the IRP's pre-conditions being met. Nick said it was the wrong decision and gave his support to Enfield Council challenging the decision in court by a judicial review.

Local GP's overwhelmingly backed the decision to downgrade. 

This challenge was rejected by the High Court on 12 November 2013 and the downgrade of A&E and maternity services will now go ahead.

Nick still argues the case that Chase Farm should have a 24-hour A&E unit and consultant-led maternity services.

November 2014 Update

Having been actively involved in the stakeholder groups consulting on the future of Chase Farm, Nick has a latest update on investment plans HERE


August 2014 Update

The Trust Foundation that is running Chase Farm began its first series of public meeting at the end of July and has now set out why it plans to invest in the Chase Farm Hospital site. The local Independent newspaper reported the meeting HERE

The chief executive of a hospital has essentially slammed the facilities at Chase Farm Hospital - and says he plans a major rebuild of the site. The Royal Free London NHS Trust, which took over Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals  on July 1, will set up plans to comprehensively rebuild the site, according to its CEO David Sloman.


July 2014 Update

From 1 July Chase Fame Hospital became part of a foundation trust following its merger with the Royal Free Hospital. Apart from the usual benefots associated with becoming a foundation trust it guarentees that and proceeds from redundant land sales are kept withiin the hospital for re-investment into the hospital. That proposed investment was outlined to the public this month.

This  November residents will see the first full details of what the new Chase Farm Hospital is going to look like. The changes include;

Knocking down Chase Farm's  clock tower and surrounding buildings and almost completely rebuilding facilities across a smaller, manageable and cost effective site.

The Trust's chief executive David Sloman told the local Advertiser that a strategic outline case for the redevelopment of Chase Farm will be put before the trust board next week. He also commented that "The existing Chase Farm site is not fit for purpose, with buildings far apart and with many in a bad state of repair, and there are five 35-year-old oil boilers which are very inefficient. The capital investment will reduce revenue costs."

 "All the services set out under the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Strategy will form the clinical footprint for the development. We will redevelop the site in accordance with the strategy."

The funding for the development will come from both the proceeds of the redundant lland sale at Chase Farm and an investment though to be worth approx. £75 million from the government. There is no planned Private Finance Inivestment.

The Royal Free expects to submit a planning application to Enfield Council in November when further details will emerge.

In total the trust will receive £263million in transitional funding over the next five years and has said that it will invest £100m minimum in the Chase Farm site to modernise facilities – funded partly by the sale of land there.

Andrew Panniker, director of hospital capital and estates,  has stated  that the trust aimed to keep Chase Farm's Highlands Wing and the multi-storey car park. Other than that, he stated, it would be a "complete facelift".

here will be a proper consultation with stakeholders, staff and neighbours living near the hospital, in accordance with planning rules.

The trust is planning to start initial works next spring and the main building work in the summer of 2016. It expects the works to be completed by spring 2017.

This website will keep you up to date with development proposals.

12 NOV 2013

Chase Farm Hospital downgrade approved by High Court: statement from Nick

This afternoon the seven-year battle to keep Chase Farm Hospital's accident and emergency unit open was lost when a High Court judge threw out a legal challenge lodged by Enfield Council. The Enfield Advertiser has the story, as does the Enfield Independent and BBC.

Enfield North MP Nick de Bois, who led the Hands Off Our Hospital campaign, said: "The decision by the High Court is very disappointing. I believe Enfield Council had a good case and made the right decision in seeking a judicial review, and residents in the borough supported it too".

He added, "I think we can be proud of the cross-party and borough-wide campaign fought locally to try and save Chase Farm, and we need to continue to put party-politics aside as we begin a new fight to get the best possible healthcare services for the people of Enfield."

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25 SEP 2013

UPDATE: GPs give go-ahead to downgrade Chase Farm Hosptial

This morning Nick attended the meeting of the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) of GPs. They met to make a final decision onwhether to go ahead with the BEH Strategy that would see Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield downgraded.

Nick and Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes took the opportunity to challenge the idea of giving the go ahead to downgrade, saying promises on primary care had not been kept and that local residents were against losing A&E and maternity services. These promises were set as pre-conditions in 2008 by then Labour Health Secretary Andy Burnham and then reinforced by Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in 2011.

In the end, the CCG voted near unanimously to approve the BEH Strategy, thereby giving the go-ahead to downgrade Chase Farm.

Speaking after the meeting, Nick said "This is the wrong decision".

"The promised improvements in primary care have not been kept. The Independent Reconfiguration Panel said these pre-conditions had to be met in order for the downgrade to go ahead. I therefore support the statement made by Enfield Council that this decision to proceed is unlawful".

"I will continue to put party politics aside by supporting the Labour administration on Enfield Council in seeking a judicial review of this decision".

The Leader of Enfield Council, Doug Taylor, has announced that the Council is preparing its legal case and intends to have the case ready within two weeks.

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09 AUG 2013

GPs call on Nick to drop opposition to hospital downgrade











Koos Couvee writes in the Enfield Advertiser:

A GROUP of GPs charged with commissioning health services in the borough have called on Enfield North MP Nick de Bois to drop his opposition to the planned downgrade of Chase Farm Hospital.

In a letter sent to the Conservative MP on July 24, Liz Wise, chief officer of the Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group, said that the implementation of the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Strategy was "critical to the long-term sustainability and quality of healthcare services in Enfield."

The £115million strategy will see accident and emergency and maternity services removed from the hospital in The Ridgeway, Enfield, in November.

Ms Wise's letter came in response to a letter sent by Mr de Bois on July 2, in which he pointed to a recent report commissioned by Enfield Council concluding that the clinical strategy was based on inaccurate population projections, that improvements to primary care had been lacking and that question marks over the future provision of maternity services remained.

In her letter, Ms Wise set out a detailed repudiation of that report.

She said it drew on information obtained in from the NHS in November 2012 as opposed to details from full business cases published in February 2013, which included more accurate modelling, and said that the original population projections did not throw into doubt the whole strategy.

She added that projections of patients flows are constantly revised so that there is sufficient capacity at hospitals, and that concentrating A&E and maternity at Barnet and North Middlesex hospitals will allow for better and safer care.

The acute aspects of the clinical strategy are not dependent on improvements in primary care, and maternity capacity at Barnet and North Middlesex is based on the most accurate and up-to-date population figures, wrote Ms Wise.

Mr de Bois said: "A commitment was made that sufficient primary care development must be provided before services are being taken away from Chase Farm, which I have repeated time and again.

"The CCG also argues that population projections are irrelevant, but I disagree, as these projections formed the basis of the strategy, and turned out to be wide off the mark."

Enfield Council leader Doug Taylor said: "The assertion that the acute changes don't assume anything being undertaken in primary care doesn't alter the promise made by the Secretary of State to ensure improvements were in place before downgrading A&E.

"A struggling primary care sector inevitably adds continued pressure on acute services. That is the prospect which we face."

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05 JUL 2013

Nick writes to Health Secretary: report proves case for downgrade is flawed

Nick has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt saying a recent report has proven the case for downgrading Chase Farm is flawed.

A report from independent monitors from Hygeian Consulting, commissioned by Enfield Council, has found that population projections in the BEH Strategy (which recommended downgrading Chase Farm) were wildly incorrect. Nick believes the report also proves that promised improvements in primary care will not be in place by the November deadline.

In his letter to the Secretary of State, Nick wrote: "With the BEH Strategy being based on worryingly inaccurate population projections and promised improvements to primary care certain to be unfulfilled by November, I therefore wish to urge you once again to halt the downgrade of Chase Farm Hospital and to review the BEH Strategy."

You can read his letter to Jeremy Hunt here.

You can also read his letter to Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Doug Taylor, here in which he gives the Council his full support should they decide to challenge the BEH Strategy in court. Nick has also written to Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group, urging them to back the Council if they go down the legal route.

Nick's actions have been highlighted in today's London Evening Standard.

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14 JUN 2013

Enfield Advertiser: MP calls for halt to Chase Farm downgrade


















The Enfield Advertiser devotes its front page this week to Nick's call for all A&E downgrades - including Chase Farm's - to be suspended.

Writing in the Spectator, Nick argued:

"The long term strategy of specialist, centralised hospitals supported by excellence in primary care is well documented and well supported in the medical professions. Yet we are in danger of putting the cart before the horse – reducing A&E provision before the alternatives are in place – and exacerbating the lack of trust rather than building it."

He added, "Surely, however unappetising it is to the Health Secretary, he should now accept until the causes of increased attendance at A&Es are dealt with he should instruct all downgrades to be suspended."

Koos Couvee has the story here.

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04 JUN 2013

Nick: Why I've called on the Health Secretary to suspend all A&E downgrades

Message from Nick

This afternoon I have called on the Secretary of State for Health to suspend the downgrading of all Accident & Emergency units – including ours at Chase Farm Hospital.

The reason I have done this is simple: until we deal with the causes of why so many people are turning up at A&Es, we must not be closing down A&E services.

I have set out my case in more detail on the website of the Spectator.

The are many causes including the NHS 111 telephone service driving excessive numbers of patients to A&E, poor access to some GP services, and an increase in clinical need - the list goes on. Overall, far too many patients who should not be treated at A&E are nonetheless being sent there anyway.

Indeed only today Dr Dan Poulter, the Health Minister, said "we've got to start thinking about how we stop people who didn't need to be in hospital arriving there". However until the thinking is done, and changes are made so that we stop funnelling patients to A&E - when we are downgrading so many A&E units – I believe the Health Secretary should call a halt to all plans to downgrade Accident & Emergency units.

The long term strategy of specialist, centralised hospitals supported by excellence in primary care is well documented and well supported in the medical professions. Yet we are in danger of putting the cart before the horse - reducing A&E provision before the alternatives are in place - and exacerbating the lack of trust rather than building it.

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27 MAR 2013

Nick asks Council to consider new legal bid in fight for Chase Farm

Today the Enfield Advertiser's Koos Couvee has the story on the latest development with Chase Farm Hospital.

Nick has written to Council Leader, Cllr Doug Taylor, about exploring new grounds for a legal challenge against the removal of services from Chase Farm.

The Enfield Advertiser had accused the Labour-run adminstration of "cowardice" back in December 2011 after failing to go ahead with a judicial review to challenge the Government's decision to downgrade the Hospital.

However, Cllr Taylor has told the Advertiser he was happy to meet lawyers and discuss the possibility of legal action. Nick has already secured a meeting for him, his fellow Enfield MPs, and Enfield councillors to meet with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the very near future.

Nick said, "People in Enfield expect their local representatives to fight for Chase Farm and I'm determined to get the best possible services at our local hospital. Residents will be reassured that we can put party differences aside to work together in the best interests of the borough".

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13 FEB 2013

Nick slams broken promises on hospital improvements

As reported in today's Enfield Advertiser, Nick has hit out at the lack of progress with improving primary care services in Enfield - something that was promised to have been put in place before reconfiguration could go ahead.

Nick told the Advertiser's Koos Couvee, "It is vital that that promise is delivered, but it is already some four years since the change was envisaged and very little has been put in".

Nick has secured a cross-party delegation to the Health Secretary to discuss Chase Farm in March.

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08 FEB 2013

Nick secures delegation to Health Secretary

As reported in the Enfield Advertiser yesterday, Nick has secured a commitment from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to recieve a cross party delegation to discuss Chase Farm.

The delegation will consist of the most senior elected representatives in the borough - the three MPs and Leader of Enfield Council.

Nick took the opportunity to call for a delegation following the statement about Lewisham hospital in south London. Nick said, "The Secretary of State recognises that Lewisham is the victim of an unfair decision as a result of failed PFI and failed finance, which were not of his making. He will recognise the striking similarities with Chase Farm hospital, which has also been downgraded because of the appalling PFI arrangements at neighbouring hospitals. He knows that I utterly oppose that decision. Given the present concerns, particularly with regard to implementation, will he meet me and a cross-party delegation to look closely at these matters?"

The Secretary of State replied, "I recognise how hard my hon. Friend has campaigned on behalf of his constituents and how deeply they feel about these issues. He knows that the decision has been made. We want to get the safe implementation of that decision absolutely right and I would be more than happy to meet him to discuss how we can best ensure that that happens."

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07 FEB 2013

A&E debate in Parliament

Nick led the call for a debate in Parliament on the future of A&E units across the country so he could once again press the case for a better deal for Enfield and Chase Farm hospital.

To read his speech click HERE

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