Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals Your stories

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Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals: Your stories...

Monday June 25, 2012

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Mary White, from Dublin, says:
Ten years ago, on 14 August 2002, I got a call to tell me that our daughter was about to have an emergency appendectomy in Charing Cross Hospital.
Wendy was living in our small flat in Hammersmith and had recently finished her "masters" at the Royal College of Art. She had become very ill during the previous night and managed to get herself to the hospital as a walk-in patient. After the necessary tests during the day she underwent emergency surgery and, despite initial post-op problems, made a full recovery.
Our home is in Ireland and knowing that there was an A & E at the local hospital was reassuring. 
Although not a full-time resident, I do pay Council Tax and can therefore avail of the local services. The emergency department at Charing Cross plays an important role in the area and I was very sorry to learn that it might close. Hopefully common sense will prevail.

Mr R Lyston, from Fulham, says:
I am disgusted by Dr Mark Spencer’s statement in the Chronicle (approx. July 14), in which he made it clear that the decision to close these A&E departments will happen regardless of the community’s wishes. My local hospital is Charing Cross, which I have been attending since 2000 with vascular problems and for check-ups. In all, I have undergone operations to replace a vein in my leg, and to remove aneurisms in my groin and aortic arteries. I have also had my appendix removed. The aortic aneurism proved to be life-threatening. I was transfused with 13 pints of blood and I was resuscitated twice. The care I received could not have been bettered, from the consultant and his team to the nursing staff, who looked after me in intensive care and afterwards. 
It is inconceivable that I would be able to get to the other hospitals mentioned, as I am now partially disabled. Northfields in Harrow is a non-starter as it takes too long to get there. I cannot imagine where these people get the idea that closing Charing Cross will improve service. I would like to see them try to get to the other hospitals during rush-hour traffic. If Dr Mark Spencer does not want to listen to these arguments, then he should not have taken the role of Medical Director. I am very concerned about the rumours that they want to sell the site of Charing Cross hospital to developers to raise revenue. Both Charing Cross and Hammersmith are vital hospitals needed by our community.

George Fenney says:
This place and the staff who work here saved my life, they do this everyday for little reward. If we loose a resource like this more people will die, it's disgusting to think their even considering closing down A&E here. More should be done to reward the people who work here and in the NHS, they save lives everyday and are the reason people like me get to grow old happily and enjoy life.

Susan Grievson, of SW6, says:
I would be very upset indeed if they closed A&E at both Charing Cross and Hammersmith. I have Atrial Fibrillation and long QT syndrome, and an implanted defribillator. In 2004, I cardiac-arrested at Charing Cross after reaching 8 pills. I have since been trated regularly by both hospitals. I have had to call an ambulance four times since then as a result of heart failure, and I would be most unhappy if I was taken to another hospital which I was unfamiliar with, given my complicated medical history.

Mr and Mrs K and E Abrahams, of Hammersmith, say:
I woke up at approximately 5.30am on April 5, 1990 to hear my wife calling me. She told me she felt really ill, so I took her to Charing Cross Hospital, which is less than five minutes by car from our home. When we got to A&E, a nurse told me my wife was having a heart attack. Within five minutes, my wife’s heart had stopped and they brought in the crash trolley to revive her. They also gave her an injection to thin her blood, which saved her life. The nurse told me that my wife would have died if I had not brought her to the hospital. If I had tried to get her to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, or Hammersmith Hospital she would have died en-route. 22 years later, we are still together, thanks to Charing Cross Hospital. Those wanting to close the hospital should think before they leap. If you were in the same position as us, how would you feel if your local hospital was shut down and help was too far away for your families?

Miss S Porter, of W6, says:
As a local resident and user of Charing Cross Hospital, I am writing to strongly support the continuation of the hospital in its present state. It is an excellent hospital with hard-working and caring staff.

Mrs A Rodgers, of Hammersmith, says:
I am disgusted at the thought of no Accident and Emergency at Charing Cross or Hammersmith Hospitals. I have been attending Charing Cross Hospital since 2002, when I suffered a fracture to my right wrist.  The following year I fractured my left wrist. I was looked after very well by A&E and Mr Coombes, the orthopaedic specialist. In 2006, I broke my left ankle and was once again treated very well, and hospitalised from October to December. In 2007, after an accident, I broke my left wrist again. I slipped on ice in 2010 and returned to Charing Cross with a broken right wrist. 
Charing Cross is my nearest hospital, and I would be lost without its services. I have been discharged from Neurology at the hospital, but told to go to Charing Cross to see the Emergency Psychiatrist at the weekend if necessary.
I am also concerned that it would take longer for ambulances to respond to incidents in my sheltered block of flats if they are not working out of Charing Cross.

Dr C J M Clark, of W14, says:
Before even considering the closure of these units, it is essential to calculate the waiting time before seeing a doctor in the A & E units in whichever hospitals would take on this extra load.
Presumably, the Chelsea and westmintser Hospital will be one of the principal A&E departments involved and a detailed account of how it will cope can and must be made available to Hammersmith and Fulham residents.

Mrs Cathy Miller, of W6, says:
I would like to register my strong protest at the plan to close the A&E department at Charing Cross Hospital. The hospital is vital to anything happening in the borough, but is also close to the M4. I went there with a broken nose, blood loss and damage to my knee prosthesis. The nurse quickly disinfected my wounds, which is essential as I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritus and take immuno suppressants.
Three days later, my husband was brought by ambulance to the hospital. He was operated on within two hours by the gastric surgery team; without ther quick action, I would probably be a widow now. They also diagnosed him with cancer and he is now being treated with chemotherapy. Without the A&E, my husband would probably be dead, and he would not have had his cancer detected so quickly. 
It would be criminal to deprive us of this vital service in Charing Cross Hospital, and I very much hope that this insane decision will be stopped in its tracks.


Cate Ferguson James, from W4, says:
I am writing to express my firm belief that the Accident & Emergency unit at Charing Cross Hospital should remain open.
I have lived in Chiswick for 18 years and have twice been rushed to this A&E for treatment - once in an ambulance. This is an incredibly valuable and important local resource and to lose it would be sheer madness.
Bearing in mind how densely populated and congested the entire area is, it is already difficult to access the facility, but if residents of the borough were forced to go further afield (IN AN EMERGENCY!) it would undoubtedly cause a lot of upset, unnecessary discomfort and could even cost lives. Hospitals such as Chelsea & Westminster may only be a few miles further but for almost 24 hours-a-day that is a much longer journey for people who live in West London - all travellers by road would have to pass through the busy Earls Court - and Chelsea & Westminster is not well placed for public transport.
H&F A&E has been serving our community with a incredible, invaluable service for years. It is ideally located to do so and should be allowed to continue. I cannot think of one sensible reason why it should close. Make cuts in other areas if you have to, but please KEEP H&F A&E! 

Russ Shaw, from Shepherds Bush, says:
I am writing to add my story to help with the petition not to close the Hammersmith Hospital A&E.
My wife has CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia) and has lived with this condition for nearly ten years. The quality of the care at the hospital has been excellent in terms of their handling and treatment for my wife. Indeed, it has saved her life.
In 2007, she received chemotherapy.  Upon taking the first set of drugs, she had a violent reaction in the night and had to be admitted via A&E, who looked after her immediately. Without the immediate access, I am not sure she would have made it.
In 2009 (related to the CLL), my wife came down with swine flu (and also pneumonia). Again, as she was swiftly going downhill, I took her to Hammersmith A&E; she was immediately admitted and handled in an appropriate manner. She was later in the Intensive Care Unit (for several weeks) and eventually did recover (although there was a week when the doctors were not sure she would). Without A&E at the start of the process, it could have been far worse.
Last year, my wife came down with a virus. Although not as serious as the first two episodes, I admitted her via Hammersmith A&E. Her details were on file, and the staff on hand managed the situation with great care, detail and efficiency.
In all of these instances, I am very grateful for speedy and effective handling of my wife's illnesses. As you can imagine, we are incredibly concerned if this facility were to be closed. 

Christopher Mallia, from Fulham, says:
Whoever makes the final decision to close or down grade the above hospitals, if that decision is made, will have blood on their hands. Sensationalist, I know, but I'm afraid the statement is true. In a civilised society it is the duty of the law & decision makers to do so with the view of protecting the less fourtunate, it is not their prerogative to trample the less fourtunate just because they can... The old adage "so long as you have your health your are ok" doesn't ring true until your health becomes something that's at the forefront of one's thoughts because one no longer has it. To put a price on people's health is abhorrent. How can anyone cost the loss of life or the shortening of life that the cutting of hospital services would cause. We are told we are lucky to live in a democracy yet it seems the democratic rights of the public are ignored if there is a financial gain to be had, the voice & the needs of the public should be the criteria by which desicions are made not the balance sheet.
Four & a half years ago I was diagnosed with COPD, emphysema. Then the respiratory consultant at Charing Cross confirmed the fear that I also had lung cancer. This would not have been discovered if not for the specialist lung foundation people based at charing cross hospital. I then had further tests both at Charing Cross & at Hammersmith hospitals to assess my ability to withstand an operation, which then took place. But after the operation evidence pointed towards the probability that not all the cancer cells had been removed. I was then refered to the oncology dept. at Charing cross hospital to discuss further treatment. The further treatment has meant me attending the radiotherapy dept. at Charing X hospital for four weeks, five days a week, to have radiotherapy to clear the cancer cells that are left.
As someone who has severe breathing difficulties etc. any extra journey time to hospital would cause extra worry & suffering. Losing the services currently at Charing Cross hospital would cause me extra worry & suffering. The levels of care, the profesionalism & the convinience I have found, mostly at Charing Cross hospital, but also at Hammersmith hospital, are priceless. It is unbelievable to think anyone could be fooled into thinking that should these hospitals close or lose services all the people who currently use them could be accommodated at other hospitals miles away. I for one, as with many, would have to request hospital transport instead of driving myself due to the lack of parking at other hospitals & the lack of disability parking in the boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea or Westminster & Camden & that's before I even get to talk of overcrowding & longer waiting lists.
There is talk of major developements of residential properties around the Hammersmith & Fulham borough & a vast redevelopement of the Earls Court area. If anything we will need more hospitals not less. Charing Cross & Hammersmith hospitals may not be centres of financial excellence but, from my own experience, they are centres of medical excellence & as such they are irreplaceable. Anyone that causes those services to be lessened or lost would not only be commiting a crime against humanity but would be financialy foolish & cause problems now, for years to come & for future generations. 


Gloria Jooke says:
Dear NHS,
Let us, the public, keep our A&E hospitals open! You really should consider NOT closing our A&E at Hammersmith or Charing Cross. The hospitals are greatly needed for our well-being and we, as old people, cannot travel to other hospitals for treatment. I was taken to Hammersmith for open heart surgery in 2007 - I think if that hospital was not that near, I would not be here today. It is one of the best, as is Charing Cross. I had an assessment there for breathing - they told me my lungs are bad and helped me cope with it. We need our hospitals, not just for old people, but for the young, small and very needy people. How do they cope if you close our hospitals - do we just let them die? No, the NHS is here to save lives not take them away. Our hospitals - we need them. Our nurses and doctors do a brilliant job in our hospitals and the hours they put in. I don't think they get paid enough but they do it because it's what they love doing - saving lives, so we need our hospitals, so we can stay on this earth together a bit longer. They are our life's support. Please don't change that.


Tania Barr, from Shepherds Bush, says:
I am truly distressed to hear about the possible closure of A&E and other clinical services at Hammersmith Hospital. There are so many residents depending on that hospital, especially for emergency services, and the thought of trying to get through traffic to Chelsea or to St Mary's fills me with dread.
Early last year, I was delighted to find out I was pregnant with a second child. However, about 6 weeks into the pregnancy, I felt in great pain and knew something wasn't right. Having never had a miscarriage before, I assumed the pain was part of a natural, if deeply miserable, miscarriage experience that I would just have to 'tough out' and went through the day feeling worse and worse, but not seeking medical help.
Eventually, I decided I had to see someone, got some cover for my daughter and - because it was close by - took the bus the short distance to Hammersmith Hospital A&E. The nurses there were wonderful - even though it was late in the day, they insisted on getting me properly screened and checked, and found that I was bleeding internally very severely from an ectopic pregnancy. They rushed me into theatre and, I would say, saved my life. If Hammersmith A&E hadn't been so close, I would have 'waited out' the pain, assuming it couldn't be helped, and been in much more severe trouble probably only a few hours later.
I have since had another, successful pregnancy and attach a photo of my beautiful children. Please please don't cut these vital services.


Sheena Joughin says:
"I recently found a little pink certificate, from January 1991. It is from Charing Cross Hospital, and it says:  "Joshua Burns has been very brave while attending the Accident & Emergency Clinic". It's signed by Nurse Melanie, who I can still remember, from the afternoon I took my son there, in a taxi, when he fell off a bus on the Shepherd's Bush Road and split his head open. It was rush-hour, and raining heavily. Getting to Chelsea would have been a nightmare, and much more expensive too.
I have been back to Charing Cross many times, since Josh was three years old, and had the first big bump of his childhood. Knowing that Charing Cross is a walk away from where we live made a lot of difference to my experience of being a single mother. And when I was very ill myself, in 2007, the mental health unit saved my life.
We need our hospital."

Roger Moone says:
"My son died as he got to Hammersmith hospital by ambulance! The marvelous staff their resuscitated him and he is alive and well today! If he had to go to another hospital such as St Mary's in a borough that doesn't recognise the Blue Badge Scheme he would be dead today, because of the consistent road traffic and construction. I for one and my wife, are grateful for Hammersmith Hospital and the Idea to close its A&E is proposterous. My son is acute asthmatic as is my wife and 10 mins (if your lucky) to 1 hour extended journey time means life and death. I think the person who thought of closing these hospitals lives nowhere near them and is covered by private health insurance so if they need hospital care for gout or smokers cough they can go in their plush private ambulance and lay in there 5 star private room totally missing out on the A&E dept.
Also it would be nice if there was a children's A&E at Hammersmith Hospital like there used to be before they spent all their money on other causes. My grand daughter had to go to Roehampton for treatment due to lack of care at local hospitals. Don't close A&E's bring back children's care.


James Thompson, from W12, says: 
"I was seriously ill four years ago with a still-undiagnosed neurological condition, and it is no exaggeration to say that without the expertise and care of the medical, nursing and ancillary staff (yes, the cooks, porters and cleaners are essential too!) I might not have survived.
This is an image of me in the green pyjamas of CXH.
Best wishes for the campaign."


Ali Salamat, from West Kensington, says:
"I have lived in West Kensington since 1962!
In 2000 I had a cardiac arrest in the middle of the night and it was only by the quickness of my wife phoning 999, and the ambulance crew arriving from Charing Cross in less than 5 minutes that by the grace of god the Charing Cross A & E were able to defibrilate me and saved my life.
I have since had many complications dealt with by the Charing Cross Heart unit on the 5th floor. I was transferred eventually to Hammersmith Hospital who fitted me with an AICD which has prolonged my life and which I am eternally grateful to both Hospitals.
In June 2011 I was again very poorly and unable to breath and was taken to A&E at Charing Cross Hospital, again in a very short time, and was placed in Intensive care on the 11th Floor for 11 days on a ventilator, where they again saved my life!
On all occasions in the emergency if I had to be taken to Chelsea & Westminster or St. Mary's Paddington I would definitely not be here to tell the tale, as time was of the essence.

Helen Walter says: 
"I am writing to express my horror that the NHS would even consider closing the Accident & Emergency department and Acute Stroke Unit at Charing Cross Hospital.
Very simply, these are essential elements to the functioning of the Hammersmith and Fulham borough.
Without these departments, Chelsea and Westminster A & E would be totally overwhelmed and unable to cope with the volume of patients. I imagine that waiting times would become untenable and staff at Chelsea & Westminster would be stretched to breaking point.
I care for my 93 year Grandmother, who has had two serious strokes in the last 2 years. On both occasions she has received exemplary emergency care at Charing Cross Hospital A & E and then the Acute Stroke Unit. Without these units' specialist knowledge and expertise, it is likely that my Grandmother would be dead. I must therefore strongly protest the closure of them and ask the NHS to reconsider a very short sighted cost saving exercise.
This will be an terrible 'efficiency' the NHS will come to regret, as it will harm the people it is meant to serve and assist." 

John Kent, from Fulham, says: 
"Charing X hospital saved my throat, and possibly my life, when I was referred there by my GP and the specialist discovered a tumour in my throat, within 2 weeks I had commenced radio therapy in what was then the Gunnar Nilsson cancer/radio therapy unit. 18 years later I am still OK. Thanks - Professor Cheeseman and his team."

Catherine Wolfe, from W14, says:
"I write to express my horror at the proposed closure of the A&E unit at Charing Cross. I am concerned too at the closure of the A&E unit at Hammersmith, and the hyper-acute stroke unit at Charing Cross; but I am invited to write from personal experience, and I only have experience of the Charing Cross A&E unit.
I have lived in Hammersmith and Fulham since 1981, when I moved here aged 11 with my mother. In the years between 1981 and 2005, my mother and I rarely had cause to visit the hospital; but between the summer of 2005 and January 2012, our lives were made possible by the hospital.
In 2005 my mother lost several vertebrae through osteoporosis and became unexpectedly immobilised and spent three nights on the kitchen floor. It was the A&E which treated her and saved her life and admitted her to the main wards.
There were further admissions and discharges, including excellent home care, until the main crises in 2009, when her lung collapsed, and then re-collapsed. Without the A&E she would not have survived, especially on the second occasion. Although she very nearly died, both times, we knew that she was receiving the best possible care, and that it was local.
More trivially, in 2011 I fractured my shoulder in Portobello Road. The taxi driver and passers-by all wanted to take me to St Mary's. I insisted that they take me to Charing Cross, where the care I received in A&E - including immediate relief from distracting pain and then X-ray - was excellent, as was the aftercare at the bone clinic.
My husband and I considered where best to live in London, to raise our two children. One of the key factors for Hammersmith and Fulham was the safety of knowing that we had Charing Cross Hospital and its A&E department; and on that basis we live here in our flat and send our children to schools in the borough.
The A&E at Charing Cross is a world-class excellent feature of Hammersmith and Fulham. We are lucky and proud to have it. Please, please do not close that unit."


Lisa Greenwood says:
"Twice in the past few years I’ve had to take my mum, Patricia Greenwood, (60, pictured with granddaughter Holly Greenwood), to A&E with a severe asthma attack. The response and care were incredible – rapid, comforting and highly professional. I don’t like to think what would happen if we had to travel any further for such emergency care, both times we would arrive at reception and my mum could barely breathe at all. As soon as she felt her chest tighten we would set out but within 10 minutes by car (this is how far she lives from Charing Cross) her breathing would be extremely shallow and she was close to losing consciousness. A further journey could have meant a very different outcome that I can’t bear to think about.
Charing Cross also provided information and aftercare instructions that proved invaluable. The second attack prompted them to do full scans and tests and revaluate her medication which has made a real difference to her quality of life. So not only did she receive emergency care to a faultless degree but the care continued once the danger had passed.
Many people in LBHF like my mum will not be able to reach an A&E quickly without Charing Cross and the staff’s professional excellence deserves investment."

Julie Gaffney, Westcroft Square (with her son Che), says:
"My Dad had a suspected stroke last week and was rushed into A&E and is now recovering, thanks to the special stroke unit. I come regularly because I have Ceoliac disease and I'm a single mum looking after my Dad too. If we couldn't use Charing Cross it would take at least an extra hour to get to one of the other hospitals. I can't believe they want to do this."

Anzu Hamaguchi, from Kensington, says:
"There are only a limited number of accident and emergency departments in London and to lose so many will be a disaster for residents. There will be long queues and chaos at the ones that survive while vital services at Charing Cross will be lost. Now is the time for everyone to join the campaign to save Charing Cross."

Josephine Lundeberg, from Ravenscourt Park Gardens, says:
"I'm absolutely appalled that they are planning to shut the A&E at Charing Cross and Hammersmith. To lose two in one borough is deeply disturbing. I have used Charing Cross since 1975 when I broke both my legs. In recent years I have suffered from a stroke and deep vain thrombosis and the care I received at Charing Cross has been superb. Some hospitals treat their patients like a piece of meat but the staff at Charing Cross are brilliant and we must not lose them. They should cut the managers and the bureaucracy instead."

Recent news stories (more comments at the bottom of each story):
Waiting times to soar under 'half baked' A&E closure plan»
Charing Cross health services to fit in a gym»
Expert to dissect NHS hospital downgrade plan»
Closing stroke centre will put lives at risk»
No show for botched NHS road show»
Doctors 'sceptical' on A&E closures»
H&F residents speak out on hospital cuts»  
Battle to save local hospital services begins»

Save Charing Cross hospital»

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» Send us your comments now

Had to attend the ENT Out Patients Department the other day & what a fantastic level of service I received.

i) On arrival, the young lady on reception was welcoming, helpful & polite.
ii) Was seen within 30 mins of my appointment
iii) The consultant was thorough and gave excellent information
iv) Treatment & follow up has been prompt.

Keep up the good work
From Malcolm on 02/06/2014 at 08:59
Oncology is a nightmare - they don't communicate, look after patients, treat them with respect or treat them properly. Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis - no apology. Terrible - and I'm a strong supporter of the NHS. There are many people struggling there, but senior doctors and management who just don't care
From FLS on 20/12/2013 at 16:18
Without the excellent ambulance service, and the rapid, efficient, caring service of A&E, Neurosurgery and Neuro Critical Care Unit, my husband would not be recovering as he is now, following a stroke. We have received nothing but exemplary care in Charing Cross Hospital, and I cannot praise its staff highly enough.
From SS on 22/10/2013 at 21:56
I work in the area with young people, and the thought that they would not be able to access A&E services is terrifying. Many have shared with me their experiences of needing urgent medical help. The concept of closing down essential services is disgraceful. These supposedly necessary cuts are hitting the most vulnerable over and over again. Our NHS and local hospital services are important to all of us. We must put up as much resistance as possible to these attacks on our health and community.
From clare on 04/09/2013 at 21:34
On the afternoon of Thursday 17th January 2013, I developed severe back pains that became so intolerable that my wife drove me in less than ten minutes from Ravenscourt Park W6 to the A&E at Charing Cross Hospital. Within 5 minutes, I was diagnosed as having an abdominal aorta aneurysm and I was in the operating theatre within fifteen minutes. Unless I could get to A&E so quickly for surgery or stabilisation, I would not have lived. Populations and traffic are so dense in Hammersmith , we must have A&E Units very close to our homes to save other lives like mine. Thank you.
From Barrie Stead on 08/02/2013 at 12:05
I and other people I know have had excellent care and follow up at Charing Cross over the years, with wonderful staff. Without Charing Cross, we would have to make long and inconvenient journeys for urgent care.
From Yes on 01/02/2013 at 21:47
Charing Cross Hospital saved my husband's life when he suffered a heart attack many years ago. He collapsed in the street and was taken to A&E where he was given first class treatment.

My husband had a triple bypass operation at Hammersmith Hospital and has attended this hospital on numerous occasions. I had to call an ambulance for him and it is reassuring knowing the A&E is close to home.

I had am emergency appendix operation in Hammersmith Hospital some years ago. Any further delay would have been fatal so they saved my life too!

How on earth can the NHS consider closing these A&E Departments when the need has never been greater?

There are many ways to save money but surely it is far more important to save LIVES?

It is not the International Health Service but the EU has decreed that anyone who comes to these shores should receive FREE treatment.

Sack the Managers and bring back Matron!
From Jean F on 30/11/2012 at 22:37
Our son is a budding neurosurgeon, currently working in Intensive Care at Charing Cross. He had an accident on Wednesday, sustaining injuries to his hand that could have prevented him continuing his surgical training. He was seen at CX but referred to Chelsea and Westminster. I picked him up from CX at 3.15pm and it took nearly 1 hour to get to Chelsea and Westminster. He had severed a minor artery. What would have happened if it had been peak hour and a major artery or stroke or heart attack? CX is ideally situated for South West London. Traffic to Chelsea and Westminster is impossibe at the best of times but peak hour and football traffic will put emergencies at risk. Money has been wasted on consultations, all the while knowing what the preferred outcome is. Totally outrageous. Listen to the people. How many more claims can be paid for negligence which is what we are looking at if people cannot get urgent treatment.
From Jenny Brown on 29/11/2012 at 23:32
The only way in an emergency to reach Chelsea and Westminster hospital from where I and ten of thousands of Fulham residents live is to go along Fulham Road through congested Fulham Broadway.Anyone in a serious condition who is injured during the numerous Chelsea FC games or for at least 3 hours after they finish might not even make it to the A and E as the Fulham Road is closed and there is local traffic chaos.Charing Cross is not blighted by the same problem as there are many ways to it so that even when Fulham FC play you still have a chance to get to A and E alive.The people putting forward these proposals are endangering lives and taxpayers should not put up with it.
From David Cobb on 29/11/2012 at 18:02
I went to Charing Cross A&E a couple of months ago with what turned out to be a broken leg. They told me I had a sprained ankle and sent me home. In my experience (then and at other times) the patient care at C&W is far better, and the extra travel time is irrelevant. With a huge pile of debt to be reduced, this govt has to make hard choices. I vote for selective reduction of NHS services where they are less needed. Then we can spend some of the money saved on nursing homes where the need is far greater - see the front page of the Times today.
From Charlie McAndrew on 23/11/2012 at 13:43
When my father was visiting he collapsed and was taken to Charing Cross A&E. It was a very stressful experience, especially for my Mum who has Parkinson's. The amazing care of the ambulance men and knowing that we were only a few minutes away from the hospital helped calm us. The A&E staff were amazing and ran loads of tests quickly and efficiently and then moved Dad into the A&E overnight emergency ward. He continued to get great care and was later discharged in good health.

I am very grateful to all the staff at Charing Cross and think it is one of the best use of our taxes in these challenging times.
From Sue on 04/11/2012 at 18:45
Adding to the sham, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Hospital produced ''voting cards'' for people to fill in supporting the plans as they stand and distributed them through local shops, etc.
This was an outrageous attempt to subvert the process.
From G Jackson on 02/11/2012 at 19:20
WHAT - close a brilliant modern uptodate hospital in favour of a clapped old building like St Marys ?
I've been to both and I know which is the better place for patients -

Something very strange going on here.
From yvonne on 02/11/2012 at 18:40
I had cancer seven years ago and had surgery and chemotherapy at Charing X, my treatment was excellent and the Doctors & Nurses were very caring, I am living locally and I certainly don't want the hospital to lose it's emergency unit which will make it easier to shut down the hospital down.
From tony on 02/11/2012 at 15:19
I have been recently treated at Charing Cross for cancer and have had to use the A&E on occasions during and after my treatment. It is close, convenient and overall an excellent service - my last visit, last Monday was a seamless service. It is so important for many patients to have this LOCAL support.
From Sarah on 13/09/2012 at 13:47
My gran had a stroke recently, and although she lives in Twickenham, she was still taken to Charing Cross A&E in the first instance, she was cared for in a humane way, the doctors and nurses were very friendly and made sure that all test results came back as quick as possible. Once transferred to the stroke unit, again the care was second to none. She has now been moved to the stroke unit at West Middlesex and having seen her there, it is obvious that the care is not the same. The nurses are more harsh and scarcastic, she was left to eat on her own whilst food dropped all over her. Not one person came to see how she was doing. By the time I got there, the food had dried on her clothes and face and it was me that cleaned her up. The cleanliness in West Mid is terrible, there are dust webs all over the ceiling and the place looks grotty. Why close Charing X and why send vunerable patients to a unit that is not half as good. My gran is 92 and things are not looking too good at the moment, surely she should have been left at Charing X to get the care she needs at such a traumatic time. I blame the bigwigs for her move to West Mid. Please keep Charing X open!!!
From Ams on 30/08/2012 at 09:44
I speak for all those schools who will have to send children further afield when the accidents occur.
It is just not on.

David I Terry C Eng
From David Terry on 09/08/2012 at 16:09
Charing Cross (CX) is the best hospital that I have had to visit in my life. Unlike Chelsea and Westminster (C&W) and St Mary's, where I have also been admitted previously, there is a unique culture of true patient care where everyone in every departement demonstrates a genuine interest in making you better.
The A&E Dept, where I have also been treated for damage to ligiaments, is efficient and professional as you want it to be.
In 2000 I was admitted to CX for Encephilitis (the prognosis is 80% probability of death or permanatent brain damage). The care that I received was of the highest standard and I was able to make a full recovery. As I was extremely unwell I had to visit many departments and all demonstrated a passion to get to the bottom of making me better. This same culture continues today and is unique within the the NHS experiences that I have had.
There is not the capacity at C&W to take on A&E from CX.
We all know that removing A&E from a hospital is the first step toward its closure.
Just because CX is a treating NOT a teaching Hospital (so might not house as senior NHS staff) any closure must only be driven by PATIENT needs and NOT the POLITICS of the NHS.
From Ian Annand on 08/08/2012 at 13:31
Charing Cross saved my life when I had a stroke two years ago and was rushed to A and E. Recently I called an ambulance and A and E were there for me. Even to talk about closing it is unthinkable and inexplicable and dare I say, unforgiveable.
From Maggie on 05/08/2012 at 14:33
I am horrified at the proposed changes. In January 2008 I was diagnosed with lung cancer and was treated in both Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals. I was given a ball-park figure of two years to live. Six months ago I was told that I was clear of this terrible disease.
I owe my life to the Oncology dept.
From sophia 25 on 04/08/2012 at 11:43
My husband has twice had to use the services of the Fracture Clinic at Charing Cross in the last 6 months, and the service has been excellent both times.

If he had had to travel further for diagnosis and check ups, it would have been extremely difficult, as he had first, a broken metatarsal and second, a fractured fibula. He was fortunate to see the same doctor both times, which was also reassuring.
From Tessa Stuart on 03/08/2012 at 16:34
Three times in the last 5 years members of my family have been rushed into A&E of both Hammersmith and Charing Cross. My husband was rushed to A&E in Hammersmith Hospital when he had his heart attack, he suffered very little damage to his heart because of their quick response. Then my son was rushed in the middle of the night having severed his artery and was literally bleeding to death. He was seen and treated immediately in a very calm and confident manner. Then I was also rushed into Charing Cross in the extremes of an anaphelactic reaction to one of the tablets I take on a regular basis. In all of these cases if we had had to travel a greater distance the outcome could have been very different. Both hospitals serve the community in different ways with different areas of expertise which should not be lost in this area.
From Judy Wright on 03/08/2012 at 11:45
From my experience as an Area Health Authority Chairman I understand budgets and the demands of A & E departments for adequate support services and fluent English speaking staff.

I am appalled that the widespread closure of our local A & E departments is even being contemplated. Ripping out the A & E will leave a shell at the hospitals and cause untold problems for potential patients.
I have my own accident experience where I was salvaged by Charing Cross after a fall at home which left me unconscious and bleeding in a semi basement area. A helicopter came for me but the crew could not access me so the medic arranged to have me taken by road to A & E promptly where I was treated. After a fairly long recovery period I have continued with an active and productive life. Thank you Charing Cross.
Under the new proposals I doubt that I could have received proper treatment in a reasonable time and would almost certainly have been permanently disabled at best or dead!
It is vital that communities have speedy access to A & E unit
From Bob Paterson on 03/08/2012 at 11:17
I hope this will help in the campaign, it's outrageous that they are planning to close two major Hospitals in such a busy area that is West London.

My story: I was at the Hammersmith Hospital's AE ward twice last month when I developed a viral infection. The doctors and nurses there took very good care of me and I knew I was in safe hands. It would have been extremely difficult for me to get to any other hospital as I had very high fever and was very weak. I'm grateful to them for everything they did for me. I really hope that the two Hospitals will not close as they are vital for the people of West London.
From Avgousta Zourelidi on 02/08/2012 at 10:51
I wish to add my name to the petition to save Hammersmith Hospital. West London must not be left without full medical facilities as if no one lived here!
From Suzanne Burke on 31/07/2012 at 14:06
My beloved aunt was eighty-two when she was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing. Having sustained many injuries, including a broken leg and pelvis, she nearly died on the night she was admitted and again, a week later. Undeterred by her advanced age, in each crisis, the medical team worked on her for several hours and saved her life.

Whilst Aunty was in hospital, two of her close family members died and I am very grateful for the compassion shown by the nurses during these times.

Aunty left hospital five months later and returned to her life-long mission, which was to do all that she could to help others. If it had not been for Charing Cross Hospital, so many people would have been deprived of her for the five further years that she lived and words cannot express how much that means to us.
From Janet Howard on 31/07/2012 at 14:04
To whom this may concern,

I am dismayed that you are even considering closing any Imperial college health trust department in my area. I would not have survived if I was transported to a hospital several miles away in traffic jams in London. These costs have not been fully taken into account, and denies the ability of ambulance crew to care for other patients in need. On a limited balance sheet these may look like savings but they do not take into account many other factors. Please reconsider.

I remain yours faithfully
Andy Baines.
From Andy Baines on 31/07/2012 at 12:09
I 100% support your campaign to save Charing Cross hospital.

It is absolutely crazy that the NHS want to close A&E units when a planning application has been received to massively redevelop the Earls Court area. The new development will need access to health services and I note that the proposal for the new development only includes private hospital facilities.

Good luck with the campaign

From Debs Eden on 31/07/2012 at 11:59
Save Charing Cross Hospital A & E

In October 2011 I fell off my bike and broke my wrist near Hammersmith tube. I was able to walk to Charing Cross A & E in about 10 minutes where I was seen almost immediately. The A & E staff were marvellous and the doctor who manipulated my wrist back into position and put on the cast did an excellent job. I was so grateful that the A & E was so close. It made all the difference.

Please let us keep the A & E at Charing Cross Hospital. It is hugely needed in our highly populated neighbourhood.

From Nicola Westropp on 31/07/2012 at 11:57
My husband has had two strokes in the last 18 months and the stroke unit was vital for us to be near. They were wonderful and it would be so frightening to think of having to go to Chelsea and Westminster which is so difficult to get to from where we live.

From Patricia Loveridge on 31/07/2012 at 11:53
I have been wanting to express my gratitude to Charing Cross Hospital for saving my life, not once, twice, but three times.

The care I have been given there has always been excellent. At first for breast cancer, then a rare neurological illness, and finally open heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement. All the doctors, nurses and clinics treated me with professional care and expertise, and I will be forever grateful. This is a first class hospital and vital to the community.

I sincerely wish that the A & E department will be kept open. My son had an emergency appendix operation after being taken there. Should he have needed to travel any further away from home, it may have proved to be dangerous if not fatal.

We have signed the petition and hope to hear that this wonderful hospital will be in our neighborhood for years to come. We have lived at this address for over 40 years and as we get older, it is reassuring to know that help is close should the need arise.

Keep up the good work. Thank you!
From Satu Birsha on 31/07/2012 at 09:46
My beloved aunt was eighty-two when she was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing. Having sustained many injuries, including a broken leg and pelvis, she nearly died on the night she was admitted and again, a week later. Undeterred by her advanced age, in each crisis, the medical team worked on her for several hours and saved her life.

Whilst Aunty was in hospital, two of her close family members died and I am very grateful for the compassion shown by the nurses during these times.

Aunty left hospital five months later and returned to her life-long mission, which was to do all that she could to help others. If it had not been for Charing Cross Hospital, so many people would have been deprived of her for the five further years that she lived and words cannot express how much that means to us.
From Janet Howard on 31/07/2012 at 09:20
The news of this proposed closure has distressed me. 22 years ago my dad had a severe heart attack at the age of 44. If it wasn't for the A&E staff, he would not be with us today.
From Laura on 29/07/2012 at 16:21
2 years ago, I had been suffering from immense pain and had visited my GP who prescribes me antibiotics. The pain did not go away and got much worse causing me all sorts of problems. I visited A&E as the pain has gotten so severe and was seen after a while. The doctor there said I needed immediate operation to take place for my pain. As the A&E is quite close by I was very lucky to be treated so nearby. The nurse I had was very nice and understanding as I was only 17 having an operation and made me feel comfortable and at ease.

Charing Cross and the A&E provides the medical help, care and advice those in desperate times need. Many of us who have suffered or know someone who has suffered pain or any problems are able to go to the hospital and A&E for help.

Furthermore for many people/patients it is a walking distance and this benefits the elderly and disabled especially.

So please save Charing Cross, patients, doctors and nurses.
From Sara on 28/07/2012 at 16:34
Charing Cross Hospital appears to be targeted for closure yet serves a most densely populated area of west London and unarguably has the best access by public transport. Curiously the Chelsea Westminster Hospital is to be spared. I would therefore ask the deciding bureaucrats whether their purpose is to satisfy the the ''wealthy of Chelsea'' or the needs of the working people of west London? Lest we forget the fundamental ethos of the NHS!
From John G on 26/07/2012 at 18:45
No other London A&E dept. is more suited and able to respond to a major incident or catastrophe at Heathrow Airport, where existing plans are for TfL to allow the emergency services to use the Picadily Line exclusively to get mass casulties rapidly to CXH via Barons Court tube station. Closure would be total madness and wholly irresponsible, it must not be allowed to happen.
From Andrew Hancock on 24/07/2012 at 14:23
I am currently undergoing chemotherapy and have had two bad reactions to it. On each occasion it has happened at a weekend and I have phoned the out of hours emergency number and told to get to the A&E dept do they could investigate. In both cases I was expected, seen and treated almost immediately. I was also admitted for monitoring for four nights on both occasions. From the time I phoned to the time I was admitted was three hours and I was treated with utmost kindness and consideration. I cannot see how there could be any ''new and improved system'' which could improve on what I experienced.
From Susan on 23/07/2012 at 13:07
My mother has been to A&E at Charing Cross twice this year. She received excellent treatment. However it took twenty minutes for the ambulance to travel from Askew Road to the hospiatl. How long would it have taken to go to Chealsea and Westminster or St. Marys?
From Stephen Fahy on 20/07/2012 at 23:17
Surely NHS savings can be achieved without putting Hammersmith and Fulham residents'' lives at risk! I wish consideration for PEOPLE was at the core of any NHS restructuring rather than financial gains. On a Map it may look like a clever move concentrating A&E services from Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals into Chelsea & Westminster or St Mary''s but as a resident of the northern part of the Borough, I would challenge any of the proposing officials to rush their sick child or elderly parent to Paddinton or the heart of Chelsea in time to save the lives of their relatives. One thing is a scheduled operation or visit, but A&E services are the lifeline within the Community. Closure of this lifeline could be seen as another discriminatory gesture: wealthy residents get emergency services on their doorstep and anybody else will have to make do. It takes just the time of a signature to destroy a life saving community asset: it may take decades to rebuild it.
From paola on 20/07/2012 at 14:15
My partner would not be alive today were it not for both the A&E department at Hammersmith Hospital and the Acute Stroke ward at Charing Cross. At no point did I see that either of these two facilities were anything but full to the maximum. In fact they eventually had to move him to St Mary's because Charing Cross was so full. I do not understand the logic of cutting services which are fully employed and clearly save lives. I would also like to add that the A&E department at St Mary's almost killed my son with a misdiagnosis.
From Cynthia Holden on 16/07/2012 at 10:32
I am sharing my story about Charing Cross Hospital and why it should not be closed. In the summer of 2008, i felt unwell. Suddenly one Monday morning i was in agonising pain, my stomach had swelled up and i felt something ''pop''. I could hardly move and rang the ambulance - they were there quickly and took me immediately to A&E. My vitals rapidly decreased and i went in for an emergency operation. I was in surgery for 5 hours and was intensive care for 2 and a half weeks afterwards on a ventilator. My gall bladder had burst. If they had not opened me up straight away and got the toxic bile out of me i would have undoubtedly died. I was in hospital for 2 months and i went home on a VAC machine which helped to close my stomach. The hole in my chest took 6 months to close and several times i had to return to A&E to have the VAC sponge removed as well as treatment and admissions from getting wound infections. If it had not been for the quick thinking of Charing Cross A&E staff - i have no doubt that i would not be here today. My normal hospital is St. Mark's, but there was no time to transfer me there - my story shows the importance of having an A&E department closeby.
From Helen Clark (nee Widdowson) on 13/07/2012 at 10:10
I am emailing to share my story about Charing Cross Hospital and why it should not be closed. In the Summer of 2008, i felt unwell, then suddenly one Monday morning i was in agonising pain, my stomach had swelled up and i felt something 'pop'. I could hardly move and rang the ambulance - they were there quickly and took me immediately to A&E. My vitals rapidly decreased and i went in for an emergency operation. I was in surgery for 5 hours and was intensive care for 2 and a half weeks afterwards on a ventilator. My gall bladder had burst. If they had not opened me up straight away and got the toxic bile out of me i would have undoubtedly died. I was in hospital for 2 months and i went home on a VAC machine which helped to close my stomach. The hole in my chest took 6 months to close and several times i had to return to A&E to have the VAC sponge removed as well as treatment and admissions from getting wound infections. If it had not been for the quick thinking of Charing Cross A&E staff-i have no doubt that i would not be here today. My normal hospital is St. Mark's, but there was no time to transfer me there - my story shows the importance of having an A&E department close by
From helen on 12/07/2012 at 13:49
I''m a young professional who has often had to visit the A&E department for an ongoing heart problem. I work in Baron''s Court and it''s the closest A&E. The service is great, and I appreciate having somewhere I can feel comfortable going in case of emergency.
From Anon on 11/07/2012 at 10:30
Over the years my husband and I have used the A&E department many times, on one occasion my husband wasn't expected to live and they attended him with such an efficient manner, they all worked so hard and pulled him through. He was in hospital 9 months and over that period they were fabulous to him both in nursing and in caring for him.
We attend Charing Cross on a regular basis, Dr Graham Wilson Clinic, and would be at a loss if this hospital closed down. We also use many other clinics together with A & E. The hospital is near our home and makes life more reassuring to know that we can get to a hospital so close by to our home.
As far as we are concerned Charing Cross is a god send and it would be distressing if it should close. The staff and doctors are fantastic and as far as my husband and myself are concerned they are second to none.
Irene & Raymond Richards
From Irene & Raymond Richards on 10/07/2012 at 15:42
I had breast cancer and I had surgery and a mamograph at Charing Cross Hospital in April last year. This hospital is the best I know in London.
From Mary Ann Roshan Zamir on 10/07/2012 at 11:57
I have had to use local hospitals recently. Charing Cross has some problems but A&E is not one of them. It takes between 20mins to an hour to get to Chelsea and Westminster or St Marys in the heavy traffic. It is crucial we have an easily accessible hospital and if anything, the A&E should be extended to include children ask every parent who has tried to take their child to A&E at night in an emergency with no transport and no money for a taxi! As someone who was involved in an accident only recently and used this very service, I implore you to make every effort to join the campaign to save what is the most central hospital to thousands of people who not only live in the local vicinity, but is also accessed by people working and visiting in the area. No one is immune - accidents can happen to anyone, including you and those you care about. DON'T WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE!
From jacqueline on 09/07/2012 at 15:39
I live in Barons Court. On 8 June 2003 during my parents visit to London, my father was taken to the Charing CrossA&E unit with a major heart attack. Drs informed if it was any seconds late he would have died. If the only A&E unit was at Chelsea hospital, which takes easily an hour to reach, then my father wouldn't be alive today. Charing Cross' excellent services to my father are the reason he is with us today. On 24 Nov 2003 I had an acute bacterial infection in my stomach with diarrhoea and vomiting throughout the night. However, I managed to walk to the Charing Cross A&E, as it is so close, and got excellent emergency services. I decided not to call 999, to allow the emergency ambulance provide their services to critical cases similar to my father's situation. I bet, even with my determination, I wouldn't be able to walk to the Chelsea hospital. Recently, 5th July 2012, one of my elderly friends living in Putney had a stroke, received emergency services at Charing Cross A&E unit. Closing the Charing CrossA&E wouldn't benefit the locals and others. Closing this A&E is completely wrong, adding cost to the NHS services and definitely will result in losses of lives
From Thomas Varghese on 09/07/2012 at 10:51
A year ago i suffered from DVT. The ambulance crew haven''t recognised condition at first and were about to take me to any A&E close by(Acton). And in fact I was running out of time....When my friend told them I previously visit Charring Cross Hospital with the condition,I was taken straight to Charring Cross.And I have my life saved. Just in time....If they have taken me somewhere else I wouldn''t be able to write this, I wouldn''t be here........Having A&E in such a well equipped hospital increases the chances of more lives being saved. I hope they won''t close it down......
From Agi on 07/07/2012 at 22:08
The care and expertise in this Hospital is wonderful. My wife was in intensive care a few years ago and through their knowledge and commitment, she survived. They moved very swiftly in the A&E department, which clearly was crucial and which clearly saved her life. I have enormous admiration for the Doctors and Nurses, they were fantastic. Charing Cross A&E and all departments must stay, it is by far the best Hospital in the area and I don''t understand why we are having to write these petitions. Somebody needs to take a good look at the health situation. There are some shockers, but this Hospital is in the Premier League.
From Charles Dowson on 07/07/2012 at 21:34
A couple months ago I had a deep cut in my finger while working. Despite the late hours (around 2 o''clock in the morming) I got attendend very professionaly by the staff present. They run an X-ray to see if there were any glasses inside the wound and they sewed the cut in less than half an hour. Lucky for more and the good practice of the team I could present my university exams three days later. Thank you!!
From Ivan on 07/07/2012 at 13:12
We had to take our 3 yr old daughter to Charing Cross Hospital last Saturday. She was having difficulty breathing (turned out to be pneumonia) and even though we knew they didn''t have a specific paediatric A & E Department, we chose to take her to Charing X because it is only 5 mins from our home - we live off the Fulham Palace Road - as opposed to Chelsea & West which is considerably further. The staff were absolutely brilliant and they were so caring to my little girl who is normally terrified of doctors. I can''t thank them enough for the immediate care they provided her with. The closure of Charing Cross A & E department will be a travesty for the residents of West London.
From Alice on 07/07/2012 at 11:01
Charing Cross is a brilliant hospital with a fantastic A & E department. I live off the Fulham Palace Road and I took my 3 yr old daughter there last Saturday as she was having difficulty breathing (turned out to be pneumonia). Although I realised they didn''t have a specific paediatric A & E department like at Chelsea and West, Charing Cross was much closer, so in this emergency we took her there. It took us 5 minutes to get medical help as opposed to Chelsea which would have taken at least another 10 minutes of vital time. Charing Cross were absolutely fantastic. The care and help they gave were first class. They helped to stabilise her and the staff were absolutely brilliant. I think it is a travesty that they are thinking of closing this A & E department which is vital resource for the residents of West London.
From Alice on 07/07/2012 at 10:49
You can''t close those hospitals!!! They are a lifesaver when you can''t get a doctor!!!! I work and the access to these A&E places are amazing.
From Nicola on 06/07/2012 at 20:09
Please save Hammersmith Hospital! It has saved my life In 2000, as I had swelling of my leg that was also weeping, which I went to my GP three times and was told that I had an allergy, infection in my leg and then in growing hairs. I then went to Hammersmith Hospital A&E, as I was not happy with what my GP had said and was seen almost as soon as I got in there by the triage nurse, he took one look meant leg and said I think you have a DVT. I was given an injection straight away to thin my blood out and was kept in. The next day I was give a scan which they had found a massive DVT from below my knee to my groin. I was kept in for a further 7 days for them to get it under control and thinned out. When I was discharged I was looked after as an outpatient for a further 6 Months. If it wasn''t for Hammersmith Hospital A&E I wouldn''t be here today to tell the tale and I would have been leaving my only son behind. Please please help save Hammersmith Hospital A&E.
From C Edwards on 06/07/2012 at 17:54
I have used all 3 hospitals and by far the worse is C&W where I nearly died in childbirth. My mothers life was saved due to the expertise of trauma staff at charing Cross and my fathers at Hammersmith due to the expertise of transplant staff. Each hospital has its own expertise and it is vital to have the choice when a serious accident happens. I would rather charing x and Hammersmith stay open than C&W as nearer and better equipped and better parking and more accessible, both teach and are cleaner with better facilities. Would be a disaster to close these impressive hospitals. C&W was a mistake to build in the first place and has a terrible reputation that I have experienced first hand as have most of my family, for different ailments but mostly childbirth. Why get rid of two successful hospital A&E and transfer to a substandard one? I am scared going there.
From Ana Bevan on 06/07/2012 at 16:53
I am all for closing Hammersmith A and E Recenlty I took my son to the A and E and the staff were appallingly rude and unhelpful. The doctors and nurses are fine it is the admi people who are rude and treat you loike a idiot. They told us we were "lucky" to only be waiting for 2 hours because the week before everyone wsa waiting 4 hours.
From hilton seely on 06/07/2012 at 16:00
I am utterly astounded and horrified that closure of A&Es at both hospitals is being contemplated. At home 6 days ago, 30 June 2012, my husband suffered bleeding in the brain caused by an aneurysm and could be dead if A&E Charing Cross hadn''t been within fast and easy reach (2 miles); and I can''t fault their treatment of him so far. I''ve experienced both A&Es myself and I''d vote to save Charing Cross if I HAD to choose one of them because it''s a better hospital.
From Gillian Marshall on 06/07/2012 at 14:37
He shouldn''t even be alive, let alone be able to walk and talk, after an accident in a Paris hotel left his brain so crushed that doctors were forced to remove part of his skull and store it in his abdomen to keep the bone marrow healthy. Now 36, James was a first officer for BA when the accident happened on December 28, 2002. Thinking he was on the ground floor of the hotel, he jumped over a banister unaware of an 18ft drop on to a marble floor and fell on to it head-first. It was this extroverted streak that would ultimately change his life forever. He''d flown to Paris in the afternoon with a friend in the jump seat and, not due to return to Heathrow until the following day, arranged a night out with two stewardesses. After the months in hospital in Paris, he went to Charring Cross hospital for 3 months, then there was nearly a year in Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow and the Haberdashers House at the Royal Hospital of Neuro Disability in Putney, before he finally returned home in June 2004. His progress since then has been relentless and truly inspirational. Hours of rehabilitation have allowed him to walk almost normally, and, while his speech is slow and a little slurred,
From James Heather on 06/07/2012 at 10:15
When my mother had a stroke last year, it took no more than 7 minutes to get her to the Stroke Unit at Charing Cross. When my father had a heart attack, it look 10 minutes to get him to Hammersmith Hospital A&E. When my grandmother broke her hip...again, it took no more then 12 minutes to take her to Charing Cross A&E...
Please do not close the A&E Dept. at either hospital, it gives us residents in West London a sence of security knowing that should we feel unwell we are only a few minutes away from excellent medical assistance. I cannot thank enough the medical staff who helped me and my family. I am eternally grateful to them.
From Zoki on 06/07/2012 at 09:07
Twice in the past few years I've had to take my mum (60 years old) to A&E with a severe asthma attack. The response and care were incredible, rapid, comforting and highly professional. I don't like to think what would happen if we had to travel any further for such emergency care, both times we would arrive at reception and my mum could barely breathe at all. As soon as she felt her chest tighten we would set out but within 10 minutes by car (this is how far she lives from Charing Cross) her breathing would be extremely shallow and she was close to losing consciousness. A further journey could have meant a very different outcome that I can't bear to think about.
Charing Cross also provided information and aftercare instructions that proved invaluable. The second attack prompted them to do full scans and tests and revaluate her medication which has made a real difference to her quality of life. So not only did she receive emergency care to a faultless degree but the care continued once the danger had passed.
Many people in LBHF like my mum will not be able to reach an A&E quickly without Charing Cross and the staff's professional excellence deserves investment.
From Lisa Greenwood on 05/07/2012 at 09:52
Our younger son, now 24, would now probably be dead if there were no A&E department at Charing Cross Hospital or Hammersmith Hospital. As a young child, he suffered badly from asthma and several times was whisked off to Charing Cross. On one occasion, the traffic was so bad, I remember driving in ever increasing circles to try to find a way through the congestion. All the time, our son was getting more and more blue and we were getting more and more desperate. In those days, Charing Cross accepted children in A&E, if we had been required to go anywhere farther afield, I can't imagine how we could have completed that journey in time.

I can understand the plan of the NHS to turn hospitals into specialist centres of excellence for planned operations. However, the idea should never be extended to A&E departments where short journey times from a patient's home to the hospitals are essential. Time is of the essence. There needs to be assessments of the average time (and distribution of times) to different hospitals and the number of A&E departments based on that. With London's appalling traffic, there needs to be many A&E departments available in the capital.
From awsmock on 04/07/2012 at 19:56
Please keep the A & E Dept at Charring Cross Hospital open as it is a vital place for all local residents to obtain emergency care as my mother was taken there 2 years ago as she was suffering from terminal cancer and the care she recieved was wonderful and the staff were amazing at what they did for her but unfortunately she died after one week in the hospital but had there not have been an A & E Dept she would not had been admitted to that hospital and it was local for me and my family. AMAZING HOPSITAL PLEASE KEEP IT OPEN
From Maxine on 04/07/2012 at 14:30
A few years ago my elderly parents were staying with me and the night before their departure my Dad developed pains in his leg. He saw my GP who immediately diagnosed an arterial thrombosis and called the ambulance which arrived within minutes. On arrival at Charing X hospital the surgeon, anaesthetist and cardiologist were there to meet the ambulance to decide collectively what to do. He was taken immediately to the operating theatre where they battled for 5 hours to clear the blockage and save his leg. At the age of 85 he made a remarkable recovery and lived another 6 years. He knew that if this had happened almost anywhere else he would probably not have survived or had to have his leg amputated. Charing Cross Hospital saved his life. We knock the NHS but in an emergency the A and E facilities are world class. Don't close down this facility.
From Anne-Marie Costain, Hammersmith Resident on 04/07/2012 at 10:44
A recent Kidney Stone was extremely painful - thanks to the close proximity of Charing Cross A&E I was seen quickly and greatly assisted. This would have been a serious problem had I had to go to C&W [for example]. C&W isn't near any tube station and it's a difficult route to tackle especially when unwell.
From Jethro Lee-Mahoney on 04/07/2012 at 07:24
I have just developed a rare painful disease and if the hospital was further the bus ride would become unbearable, each time I go I see elderly peolpe struggling to get to the hospital as well... fewer hospitals mean fuller buses and longer rides for many that have trouble getting from A to B as is
From Dee on 02/07/2012 at 10:39
I have used the A&E department twice since it was altered and modernised - and transformed. The service on both occasions was very efficient and speedy and the medical treatment excellent. So much so that I have praised it to other people. It would be criminal to close this facility, especially after making a large financial investment in it, which is a beacon of excellence and an example to other hospitals. On paper there may appear to be more A&E departments than needed but this ignores the population density (about to increase due to the massive Earls Court redevelopment), the frequent traffic congestion and gridlock and the specialist after care, such as the fracture clinic, that Charing Cross provides. This department must not be allowed to close and any further attempt at downgrading the hospital must be resisted. C&W may be a good hospital but most reports on its A&E department rate it as much inferior to Charing Cross.
From Anthony Williams on 30/06/2012 at 18:28
We are local to Charing Cross hospital. My wife had an embolism (blocked vein) and was taken to A&E at Charing Cross where the registrar diagnosed her condition, ran a scan, started her immediately on medication to break it down. She was touch and go for a week but their rapid intervention saved her life. Any delay from that quick service and she would have been dead. Here we are 20 years later healthy and happy. Please do not allow our local A&E major trauma to be at the mercy of London traffic. That would be a crime and would cost lives.
From Chris on 30/06/2012 at 11:48
One Saturday, after a morning''s shopping, we came home for lunch but I started to feel unwell. I had felt like that twice before when I had kidney stone attacks. We walked to North End Road to try to dislodge the stone but my condition deteriorated and I was in extreme pain. We took a taxi to the Charing Cross A&E rather than wait for an ambulance. I was admitted within 15 minutes although an ambulance had brought someone in just a minute before my arrival. I got excellent medical treatment in the A&E and have only good things to say about the their operation. Being close to home made it easy for my wife to visit me. At age 78, we feel comforted knowing such good emergency help is close by.
From MIKE on 29/06/2012 at 23:27
I am not at all amazed at the need to change, but do not get rid of the cavelry. There are far too many manager posts within the system and the one manager does not realy know what the other is doing. Any business with too many managers is never a success. The community needs an effective A&E service but it also needs effective managers. Cut away the fat and you will find the good meat. The system has become unmanageable and you need to stream line so that you can see who is on the bus and what they are doing. Employ people that have the capability or who are trainable and then demand performance. I have seen working practices at Charing Cross which is sub standard. Employees pushing their bikes off the street through the ward area. A doctor putting his syringes on the floor while attempting to take blood from a patient. The public needs hospitals that function efficiently and have an effective A£E. You do not have to close any section in a hospital but you do need people to be resposable and accountable. From Earl Manwaring
From change of heart resident on 29/06/2012 at 20:04
Hello, the local hospital in Hammersmith has been fine on the single occasion that we have used it -I cut my finger. They were v.g. In contrast, when my 7-year old daughter was hit by a car on Hammersmith roundabout at about 7pm, she was still waiting to be seen by a doctor after midnight in a freezing cold waiting room without being offered any blankets etc. and sitting on some hard plastic chairs. Given that she was covered in blood from head to to, I thought I would wait for the doctor, but none came. We left at about 1 am, there being no-one to ask for information until then. When we did ask at 1 am, we were told they were busy wit a very, very sick child (!). Her shock had got much worse by then given the zealous air-conditioning. This meant she fainted in the taxi home, but because a triage nurse had declared her non-emergency on arrival, she was expected to wait. Thank God I could provide what she needed: at hot drink, some warmth, a blanket and a bed. Obviously, we don''t keep x-ray equipment, hence nobody knew whether anything was broken. You won''t be surprised to hear that we will definitely be consulting a private hospital next time any of us have an accident!
From S. Hyde on 29/06/2012 at 17:31
I have used both Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals on a number of occasions and the quality of service and care has never been short of anything but exceptional. Attending A&E is always likely to be a somewhat traumatic experience, but on each occasion i was seen in good time and in a reassuring fashion. The prospect of losing this security is both worrying and regressive. We need to find ways of making the NHS more efficient, not smaller.
From William Mathieson on 29/06/2012 at 14:58
I have been sick of work for 8-9 weeks and I have visited Charing Cross A&E on numerous occasions over this period. I was eternally grateful for the help and advice I received. Even though it was packed when I visited they ensured everyone was seen and closing two A&Es in such close proximity is unacceptable and suitable for residents and patients that live in Shepherds Bush, East Acton and Hammersmith
From Michelle on 29/06/2012 at 14:05
Please save our A&E at Charing Cross Hospital my daughter has been rushed in very sick to this department at least 4/5 times a year in the past ten years and it is crucial it stays there for any future emergencies. The staff are extremely dedicated and have saved her life many times in the past, i do not know what we will do if it is no longer there to help us when we need help, the journey to C&W will take too long with all the traffic and what happens when there is a local football match on at Chelsea and the roads from hammersmith to fulham are on diversion or gridlocked??? I understand you may have to close one in the borough but i have been to both the hospitals and Charing Cross A&E is by far the better hospital so should stay. If Hammersmith Hosp is chosen then so be it but i cannot understand the NHS logic of closing both hospitals in one borough!!! Especially as our area has a lot of residents and more will be coming due to the new housing developments in Hammersmith and Shep Bush which mainly consist of imperial students where do you guys think these students wull get a job after training if you close all the hospitals????? We want our LOCAL Hopsital to stay LOCAL.
From SUSAN KELLY on 29/06/2012 at 13:26
Charing Cross is a major teaching hospital serving a wide area. I''ve had excellent assistance there, in several departments and particularly A&E. A&E is crucial and there is no other provision within reasonable reach - I''ve had occasion to visit St Mary''s and it takes forever to get there, fine when it''s an appointment but not in an emergency - emergency means fast access and there''s no alternative to this excellent facility in a wide area
From shelagh on 29/06/2012 at 13:13


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