Despite widespread opposition, NHS North West London is pushing forward plans to close services at Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals.
Sign our petition
Now, Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing councils have joined forces to launch a petition opposing the plans – and they’re urging people to sign up.
“We think local people should have the chance to express their views on the axing of local services and I’d urge them to sign this petition now,” says Cllr Stephen Cowan, the Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Is a ‘local hospital’ really a hospital at all?
“NHS bosses have been trying to claim that these two hospitals are not closing because they will become ‘local hospitals’,” adds Cllr Cowan. “But the only services remaining at Charing Cross will be diagnostics, out-patients, GP and social care services. More than 300 beds will be shut, there will be no specialist operations, no blue-light emergency services, no surgeons and the vast majority of the site will be sold off.
“That’s not a hospital as most people know it, and to pretend otherwise appears to be deliberately misleading. It’s like demolishing someone’s house only to tell them they have in fact not lost their house – because they’ll be given a new garden shed which will be called their ‘local house’.
“If anyone is tempted to believe the NHS claims that these hospitals are not closing, I’d urge you to read their published plans. Simply saying nothing will happen at Charing Cross until after 2021 offers no reassurance at all.”
Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing councils are calling for the proposals to be scrapped. Both councils have raised serious concerns about the ability of the region’s other hospitals to cope with current demand, let alone with anticipated population increases.
Existing A&Es are not coping with demand
A&E performance figures consistently show local hospitals failing to meet waiting-time targets. The London NW Healthcare Trust, which runs Northwick Park Hospital, has some of the worst A&E figures in London. In July, only 69.8% of cases were handled in under four hours, compared to an average of 85.5% across England. The July figure for Imperial College NHS Trust, which runs Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s hospitals, was 78.4%, well below the target required by the government.
Ealing Council leader, Julian Bell, said: “With no blue-light A&E, no maternity, no children’s ward, no acute beds and an 80% reduction in beds overall, no local resident will recognise the husk that will be left under these proposals as a ‘hospital’. If these plans are agreed it will mean Ealing and Charing Cross will close as district hospitals.”