London’s Mildmay Hospital is battling to prevent its closure, which could see the city’s only dedicated HIV/AIDS hospital shut its doors as early as April of this year.

Blaming NHS funding pressures, Mildmay would have to close as it operates as a charity, and without the support of the NHS, they would “simply have to close.”

Despite the massive leaps in the treatment of HIV and AIDS in the last decade, there is still a significant number of patients in London who require the services offered at the hospital.

MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali said: “Ministers must step in to save Mildmay Mission Hospital. Mildmay provides a vital specialist service for patients living with HIV. It would take £5m a year to keep Mildmay open, which is a tiny slice of the NHS budget.

“It is an entirely false economy to close this hospital and force patients into other parts of the NHS without the same medical specialism. We are calling on the Health Secretary Matt Hancock to intervene and save Mildmay before it is too late.”

The cost of running Mildmay, £5m per year, is a small slice of the NHS’s budget and provides specialist care to people living with HIV/AIDS which would otherwise see them “blocking beds” in other London hospitals which are urgently needed by other patients.

Geoff Coleman, CEO of Mildmay, said: “Frustrated doctors across London have already come out in support of Mildmay, saying that if the hospital closes, hundreds of NHS patients will suffer. Overburdened NHS services just do not have the capacity to manage yet another group of patients with a chronic long-term condition such as HIV.”

Dr Camila Hawkins, the lead occupational therapist at the hospital, who spoke to the OT Magazine about her work in November of last year, tweeted: “Realise I’m biased, but I genuinely believe that some people living with HIV and HAND would experience lower quality of life and a lower level of independence if the Ax and rehab services [at] Mildmay did not exist. These services aren’t needed by all [people living with HIV] but are vital for those who do.”

To add your voice in the fight to save Mildmay, sign the Change petition here.

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