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Inspector coming to hear views on local hospitals

Residents worried about the threat to local hospitals are being urged to tell England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals what they think.

Imperial NHS Healthcare Trust, which runs Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals, is being is being assessed under a new national hospitals inspection regime.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council opposes Imperial’s plans to sell off most of Charing Cross hospital and effectively close both A&Es in the borough. Imperial’s performance consulting residents, communicating its decisions and overall governance have come under intense scrutiny.

"With massive and potentially life-threatening decisions being made by Imperial, it is absolutely crucial that H&F residents let the inspector know how much they value their local hospital services and what they think of the job Imperial is doing running them and planning for the future," says Cllr Vivienne Lukey, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care.

"This is a timely opportunity for local people to talk to an outside assessor about how Imperial has performed, in particular regarding the consultation process that has been so widely condemned. Hospitals need a strong leadership that engages with and commands the support of residents."

"Together with tens of thousands of local residents who are horrified at the prospect of losing their local emergency services, Hammersmith & Fulham Council is opposing current closure plans and will be adding its voice to the Chief Inspector's review.

"We currently have some of the best specialist hospital services in the country at both Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals, but plans to close or relocate services to other over-stretched facilities will, we believe, have a hugely detrimental impact on local people's lives. Imperial did not properly consult on this issue - if they had, they would have seen just how much residents oppose their plans. Now they are using Orwellian language to communicate the closures, leaving residents poorly informed."

The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, says: "The inspections are designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of the services in their local hospital. Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, hospital managers and patients in the hospital. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have experienced the care provided by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust over the course of the last year or so, or anyone who wants to share information with us. This will help us plan our inspection, and so help us focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on this service."

The inspectors will be holding a listening event at 6.30pm on Tuesday 2 September at White City Community Centre, India Way, London, W12 7QT.

If you are unable to go to the event, you can send your views via the inspector's website or their helpline 03000 616161.

A full report of the inspectors' findings will be published by the Care Quality Commission later in the year. The trust - and each individual hospital and core service - will be given one of the following ratings: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, or Inadequate.