Hospital trusts to be grilled over contentious merger plans

Health bosses will discuss a contentious hospital merger that could affect health services for thousands of residents.

The acquisition by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital of the PFI-funded West Middlesex University Hospital has been criticised by Hammersmith & Fulham Council for being pushed through without adequate public consultation.

The merger will be among the items discussed by H&F Council’s Health, Adult Social Care and Social Inclusion Policy and Accountability Committee when it meets on Tuesday 7 July at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, at 7pm.

“We would urge local people who use Chelsea and Westminster or West Middlesex hospitals to come along and join us as we probe the reasons for this merger and the implications for local services,” said Cllr Rory Vaughan, PAC chair.

“This is a really significant change that could affect thousands of residents, but there was a real lack of publicity so very few local people knew about it. The merger is expected to take place by the end of the year, so 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.”

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust (CWHFT) has been invited to make a detailed presentation to the committee on the merger plans, the financial positions of both hospitals and the implications of the merger for local services.

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.”

The meeting will be held in the Courtyard Room. Residents are encouraged to come along.

For the full agenda, visit the council website