A planned hospital shake-up seen as a test case for health secretary Andrew Lansley’s appetite for reconfigurations faces further delays after redrafted proposals were rejected by MPs.
The row centres over plans to move 24-hour accident and emergency and consultant-led maternity services from Chase Farm hospital in Enfield, with full services provided instead at Barnet Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital Trust.
But the plans have faced stiff local opposition and Mr Lansley last month instructed Enfield council to come up with an alternative.
On Tuesday, the Labour-run council produced a 19-page document urging Mr Lansley to keep services open at Chase Farm and to review the primary care trust allocations formula.
But the borough’s two Conservatives MPs said the council’s submission to the health secretary did not present a viable plan for hospital services.
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois, a member of the Health and Social Care Bill committee, said: “The secretary of state was looking for an innovative plan, locally-led and with local support to mitigate the situation we were left with.
“What the council has produced is not really a plan at all – it simply highlights the legacy left by the previous Labour government and the strength of public opinion”.
He added: “I sought from and won from the health secretary an extension to the deadline so the council could have all the time it needed to produce a robust plan… The fact they haven’t done this is disappointing.”
The two MPs - the second is David Burrowes in Enfield Southgate - have said they will seek an urgent meeting with Mr Lansley when Parliament returns from its Easter break.