Demand for A&E services at Charing Cross Hospital has increased by 25 per cent over the last two winters, adding further weight to H&F Council's campaign to defend the hospital.
The officially released figures show the knock-on effect of the downgrading of the A&E at Hammersmith Hospital, and raise concerns about how the NHS in west London would cope if health bosses stick to their plans to axe Charing Cross and Ealing A&Es.
In the months from November to January 11,408 people received A&E treatment at Charing Cross – 2,416 more than in the same period two years ago.
“These latest figures show why our campaign to Save Charing Cross Hospital, backed by residents across the borough, is so important,” said H&F Council Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan.
“With growing waiting times, and hard pushed staff, the threat from local health bosses to cut NHS services even further and axe Charing Cross A&E is a real danger to the health and wellbeing of people in the borough.”
Figures released by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust show that in each of the three winter months, the number of patients treated at Charing Cross Hospital A&E was up by more than a quarter on two years previously.
The latest figures, from January, show an increase of 25.1 per cent on the same month in 2015.
Health chiefs plan to downgrade A&E at both Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals, requiring patients in need of emergency treatment to go to Hillingdon, St Mary's or Chelsea and Westminster hospitals.
Cllr Cowan will join in a march to Parliament this weekend, where he will reaffirm H&F’s commitment to standing shoulder to shoulder with residents and campaigners in the fight to save Charing Cross Hospital.
The march, setting out from Tavistock Square at 12pm on Saturday, is part of a national campaign in support of the NHS.
Merril Hammer, Chair of campaigning group Save Our Hospitals, said:
“Here in North West London we have already lost two A&E departments, at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex, with disastrous effects on the remaining acute hospitals.
“Yet there is still a plan to downgrade two more hospitals – Ealing first and then Charing Cross.”
Cllr Cowan added: “This plan to close A&E at Charing Cross is a danger to local people, and Hammersmith & Fulham council will not stand by and watch.”
H&F council has consistently said it is opposed to any plan that includes the downgrading of Charing Cross Hospital, and councillors will set out their objections to this at a Town Hall meeting next week.
H&F’s Health, Adult Social Care and Social Inclusion Policy and Accountability Committee will meet at Hammersmith Town Hall, from 7pm on Wednesday 8 March, to look at the latest health service Sustainability Transformation Plan for North West London region.
Members of the public are welcome to attend.