Concerns over proposed hospital merger

Health bosses have been criticised for pushing through a hospitals merger without adequate public consultation.

The acquisition by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital of the PFI-funded West Middlesex University Hospital was discussed at a public meeting organised by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust (CWHFT) on Tuesday 16 June, at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, at 6pm.

Hammersmith & Fulham council has arranged an additional scrutiny meeting on 7 July to ask the trust to make a full presentation on the detailed merger plan, the financial positions of both hospitals and the implications of the merger for local services. That meeting will also be held at Hammersmith Town Hall and will start at 7pm.

“We would urge local people who use Chelsea and Westminster or West Middlesex hospitals to come along and join us in probing the reasons for this merger and the implications for local services,” says Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s health cabinet member, Cllr Vivienne Lukey.

“This is a really significant change that could affect thousands of residents, but the lack of publicity means very few local people know about it. With the merger expected to take place by the end of the year, there is very little time to make our views known.

“We have some serious concerns, particularly about the potential effects on the A&E and paediatric units.”

CWHFT says the merger will improve services for people using both hospitals. Chief Executive, Libby McManus, said: “This is a pivotal time in the history of this hospital as we look to merge with the West Middlesex University Hospital. We are really excited about the patient and staff benefits that would be achieved by becoming one organisation but want to hear your views as part of our membership about this important, proposed change.”