The council is urging residents to respond to an NHS consultation and share their concerns about planned cuts to GP appointments and urgent medical care in our borough.
To save money, Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for local health services, is proposing to reduce the number of GP appointments available via ‘hubs’ and to close overnight access to the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Hammersmith Hospital.
At the moment, residents can book to see a GP in the evening or weekends at one of three hubs across the borough. The CCG wants to reduce this to a single hub, which would increase travelling time for many and limit the appointments available.
People who need urgent medical attention between midnight and 8am can also go to Hammersmith or Charing Cross Hospital’s UCCs. Under the plan, their only option would be Charing Cross, which is 2.4 miles from Hammersmith Hospital and already busy.
“Even though out-of-hours GP appointments at the hubs are poorly advertised, 260 people a week use them”, said Cllr Ben Coleman, H&F’s Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care. “And cutting Hammersmith’s overnight urgent care centre, which is used by nearly 50 people a week, goes back on the promise health bosses made when they closed Hammersmith Hospital's A&E.”
“Local people worked together with the Council to save Charing Cross Hospital from closure. I urge residents to make their views known on these proposals.
“They will make things more difficult for residents and just shift costs to Charing Cross Hospital – and there’s no plan for how it will cope with the extra numbers.”
To comment on the CCG’s plans, you can take part in the urgent care and GP appointments public consultation. The consultation closes on 24 May.