REFORMS of north London hospital services will help tackle dramatic health inequalities in Haringey, it has been argued.

A radical shake-up of maternity, children's and A&E services at North Middlesex, Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals was yesterday approved by NHS London.

The plans, which have been on the cards since 2006, will see a major A&E department developed at North Middlesex Hospital, as well as co-located obstetrics and maternity units and midwifery-led services.

A delegation of health bosses and GPs from Haringey, Enfield and Barnet went to NHS London headquarters to argue for the strategy, which has caused controversy, particularly in Enfield as Chase Farm services look set to be downgraded.

But Dr Mayur Gor, one of the delegation and the head of the newly-established Haringey GP consortium, argued these plans will help the healthcare provision for some of the most disadvantaged people in the community.

He said: “In Haringey, this well help us provide better services for local people, such as co-located obstetrics and maternity units at North Middlesex Hospital.

“And, coupled with the work being done on developing local NHS services such as enhanced community based services at Tynemouth Road, Lordship Lane and other services closer to home, Haringey residents will soon see a real difference in their local NHS services.”

The NHS London board was told of the growing disparity between life expectancies between the east and west of Haringey, and the delegation argued the plans will help the “silent minority” in Edmonton and Tottenham to access healthcare they need.

Nigel Beverley, NHS Enfield chief executive, described the plans as a “key driver” for getting added investment plumbed into the NHS in the three boroughs.

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, sent a letter to NHS London in support of the strategy, although his three colleagues in Enfield all oppose the plans, particularly the effect they will have on Chase Farm.

Health bosses are due to meet tomorrow to plan the next steps of implementing the plans, which they say will include continued engagement with GPs, patients, and local councils.

But the process may still be halted if health secretary Andrew Lansley decides the argument for making the changes has not been adequately met.