An elderly people's group is urging Enfield Borough Council to support a proposal to merge Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust with the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust.

The Enfield Over 50s Forum believes the merger will secure the long-term future of Chase Farm Hospital in The Ridgeway.

President of the group, Monty Meth said: “Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals are budgeting on a £32.5 million deficit in the coming financial year.

“We’re afraid that if the plans don’t go ahead, there will be no future for Chase Farm. We could be sleepwalking into a crisis.”

Mr Meth wants Enfield Borough Council to write a letter expressing its approval to Monitor, the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, which is currently considering the proposal.

Speaking about why he believes the merger will be beneficial and help secure Chase Farm, he added: “An expanded trust would be better placed to deal with the inevitable financial pressures that will occur due to population increases, along with rising life expectancy and the increase in long-term illness.

“Services will be secured at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals and travel to the Royal Free will only be needed when more specialist expertise is required.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: "The council has a long history of championing the health needs of local people and striving to ensure that there are high quality, NHS services available to residents throughout Enfield.

"The council is keen to ensure that there is a long term, viable future for a full range of nhs provision on the Chase Farm Site, will continue to insist that any receipts from land sales are ringfenced for the development of NHS services to the people of Enfield.

"It is very much to be hoped that the current acquisition process leads to significant additional investment and a secure long term future for a full range of NHS services on the Chase Farm site."