Massive opposition to NHS cuts as 90% of residents say ‘NO’ to A&E closures

A survey of residents across Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing has shown massive opposition to NHS hospital cuts, including the plan to demolish the current Charing Cross Hospital and replace it with a small clinic, which they propose to rebrand a ‘local hospital’.

The survey (pdf 2MB), jointly commissioned by Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing councils, from independent market researcher BMG Research, asked 1,514 residents about NHS North West London’s Shaping a Healthier Future hospital reconfiguration programme.

The survey shows:

  • 90% disagree with plans to close current A&E departments at Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals
  • 90% disagree with plans to cut 500 hospital beds in the region
  • 85% disagree with plans to downgrade both hospitals to ‘local’ hospitals
  • 82% say they don’t feel they have been involved in the decisions to make changes to local health services.

NHS bosses are not listening – an ‘affront to democracy’

“The plan to demolish the current Charing Cross Hospital and replace it with a small clinic rebranded into a new thing which they propose to call a ‘local hospital’ strikes me as playing fast and loose with the English language,” says Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

“Despite the mounting evidence pointing to their plans being wrong, NHS bosses still have their heads stuck in the sand and are ploughing on with these out-of-date proposals.

“The results of this survey again demonstrate how flawed their original consultation was. It shows just how many people oppose these swingeing hospital cuts. The way NHS bosses are handling this is an affront to democracy.”

What are the NHS plans?

The Shaping a Healthier Future programme plans to cut hospital services across the region, from nine major hospitals with A&E departments, to just five – one of the biggest closure programmes in the country. The NHS closed A&E departments at Hammersmith Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital in 2014.

The published proposals for Charing Cross include:

  • Demolishing the current Charing Cross Hospital and selling off most of the site
  • Replacing the current Charing Cross Hospital with a series of clinics on a site no more than 13% the size of the current hospital
  • Re-branding these clinics as a ‘local hospital’
  • Replacing the current A&E with an urgent care clinic
  • Losing more than 300, and possibly all, the acute care beds.

Services struggling to cope

Hospitals across the region are already struggling to meet rising demand for their services. 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 August, only 68.2% 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 73.9%, well below the target required by the government. Performance fell for both compared to July.

Get involved in the campaign

Sustainability and transformation plan (STP)

Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing councils have refused to sign the ‘North West London STP’ – because it restates the plan to reduce acute services from nine major hospitals to five.

More information

Read the background to the campaign at www.lbhf.gov.uk/hospitals.

Read the proposals for Shaping a Healthier Future published by the NHS in 2012 – option A was adopted.

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