Plans to remove hundreds of beds from local hospitals have been slammed as ‘dangerous’ by Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan.
The proposals to cut 500 acute beds across H&F and neighbouring boroughs were published last week by North West London NHS as part of their ‘transformation plans’. These plans have already been heavily criticised and were labelled ‘deeply flawed’ in Michael Mansfield QC’s landmark Independent Healthcare Commission report published last year.
The announcement has re-ignited concerns that a beds and funding crisis is threatening to hit local NHS services.
“The plans to consider cutting 500 hospital beds are frankly dangerous. And we will continue to fight to protect our health service at every level,” said Cllr Cowan.
“It is further proof that the credibility of the entire North West London Transformation plan, including proposals to axe blue-light services at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, is now in tatters.
“Local health bosses should be under no illusion that their most recent scheme will only serve to galvanise those dedicated campaigners who have fought so hard to protect local NHS services, such as those at Charing Cross.”
These proposals were revealed by the local NHS in Ealing, which recommend the closure of 500 acute beds in order to avert a £1billion overspend in health and social care over the next five years, as part of its NW London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).
The STP includes the Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF) programme, which has already seen blue-light services axed at Hammersmith Hospital – with Charing Cross next in line for the axe as bosses move to sell off most of the site.
You can read Michael Mansfield QC’s landmark report on North West London NHS ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme here (pdf).