Save Charing Cross Hospital
Huge public support as council refuses to sign up to hospital closure
The decision by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to refuse ‘secretive’ hospital closure plans was backed by hundreds at a packed town hall meeting in November.
Nearly 700 cheered and applauded Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, as he explained why he has refused to sign up to the local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). Councils across the UK have been asked to endorse similar plans for each region of the NHS, before they are submitted to government for approval.
“The STP is a deeply cynical re-hash of the earlier flawed plans which now proposes to close Charing Cross Hospital in 2021,” said Cllr Cowan.
“There are no good arguments for demolishing Charing Cross or for selling off much of the land and replacing it with an urgent care clinic just 13 per cent the size of the hospital. That’s why this administration will continue its fierce defence of Charing Cross and the vital local NHS services people rely on.”
Watch the video of Cllr Cowan speaking at the meeting
The meeting drew campaigners from across the region who have been fighting plans to close or downgrade services at five out of the nine hospitals in north west London.
Anne Drinkell, of the Save our Hospitals campaign, said: “This is a cuts and closures programme. We’re not saying we want no change. But objectively there’s already not enough capacity in our local hospital so closing more services would be unsafe.”
Campaigners were united in condemning the tactics being used to force through drastic reductions in local health services secretively and without public consultation.
The NHS has pressured councils to approve STPs by linking it to the release of vital government cash needed to keep councils’ social care services from collapsing under ever-rising demand.
Dr David Wingfield, chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham GP Federation, suggested the STP was not equipped to tackle the health and social care problems facing the borough. He offered to form a ‘grand alliance’ between GPs, councillors and members of the community to confront local healthcare challenges.
Still fighting to Save Charing Cross
During the last two years, we have been fighting to save Charing Cross Hospital from proposals to demolish it and replace it with an Urgent Care Clinic that would be just 13 per cent the size of the original hospital.
- We commissioned a public inquiry led by Michael Mansfield QC that has provided a strong evidence base for why the proposals are wrong. Read the full report here.
- We have started official proceedings to stop NHS bosses closing our hospital – and will go to court if they don’t listen.
But NHS bosses haven’t given up yet.
They have re-launched their flawed plan in a new report – the ‘North West London STP’ – and still have the demolition of Charing Cross Hospital and the sale of much of its site as a key part of their scheme. H&F Council has totally rejected this.
Read the review of the Shaping a Healthier Future proposals (pdf 4MB) commissioned by Ealing and H&F councils.
Your Charing Cross Hospital experiences
Share your experiences at Charing Cross Hospital. Click the red button below and send us an email on what you think about the hospital and the proposals. We'll publish it here on this page.”
Your most recent comments:
Thank goodness I've never had to use Charing Cross Hospital but I'm so grateful to know it's just down the road if I need it. It would be unbelievably dangerous to close the A&E department, especially as St Mary's is unable to deal with its existing usage. You have my full support in keeping the department open.
Georgina - 6 January 2017
Charing Cross is a literal life line for so many of the local residents and closing it down would be parallel to giving some of the most vulnerable people a death sentence. Being a carer, I have accompanied many people to the A&E unit of Charing Cross and various other outpatient departments; all of which offer critical services. How would individuals with learning disabilities be able to remain independent with the closure of such a flagship hospital? How would carers be able to transport individuals to other facilities? This hospital is very much in need, is very much a part of the community, an integral part of the borough and is used to its limits. This is not a supermarket where sales are not meeting the overheads. This hospital saves lives, gives quality and deserves rightly to remain a part of our community.
Jay PK - 25 December 2016
I recently had a back operation in Charing Cross Hospital . The care and support was excellent. Really amazing staff.
Derek Samuel (Fulham) - 10 December 2016
In December 2013 I was diagnosed with a mass on my brain, which turned out to be a tumour. My local hospital was totally useless, but did refer me to Charing Cross neurology. From that moment on, I had every confidence in not only my neurologist, but every member of staff at Charing Cross. I went from feeling devastated, to knowing that there was something that could be done, and that there was always someone at hand, to see me through any worries that I had. My life was turned upside down, but the staff and my care at this hospital were exceptional, and still continue to be through my recovery. I will always praise the compassionate way I was treated and my excellent neurosurgeon and his staff. I thank everybody involved in my care, during the good and bad times from the bottom of my heart. I cannot praise you all enough.
Marie Scicluna - 9 December 2016
I was in the chemotherapy unit only today for my fourth treatment for breast cancer. My experience has been excellent, from a quick referral by my GP, speedy diagnosis and treatment by overworked but always caring staff.
I have also been treated twice in the A&E, and - long ago - twice as a youngster for intestinal problems.
I am so grateful to live walking distance from this hospital.
Please invest in Charing Cross so the excellent staff are able to do their jobs without the level of stress they are currently under.
Elizabeth - 1 December 2016
I have attended and been treated at the hospital on dozens of occasions over the past 40 years. My friends and relatives have been able to visit me there during the times when I have been an in-patient. I have been superbly treated there for medical emergencies as when I have been in cycle crashes in 1985, 1991 and when I have suffered a head injury as in 2012. I have been taken in and treated with efficiency and kindness when I have collapsed on a couple of other occasions.
It is also a place which is easy to get to. Travelling to Paddington from Fulham whether as a visitor or patient is not easy. A long cycle ride, a bus plus underground ride, two bus rides .... whichever way not straightforward and much of a nightmare if you are ill or in pain.
Charing Cross Hospital is essential locally. The population is increasing all the time. The proposed alternative, St. Mary’s, is on a restricted site surrounded by new development apart from being much further to reach. It is foolish and stupid to propose the demolition of our hospital.
Gwen Cook - 29 November 2016
- More comments:
I have had the most amazing treatment at the rheumatology department of Charing Cross Hospital and I am so grateful to the phenomenal staff there. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 6 months ago. It was a shock to receive the diagnosis but the way I have been treated - from Dr Benjamin Ellis ( the consultant who diagnosed me) to the wonderful nurses, to the receptionist, has been incredible: I have always felt like a "whole person" rather than just another patient, under their care. More importantly, after 6 months of treatment I am feeling great! (after well over a year of excruciating pain and debilitating stiffness).
I've also had bone scans and monthly blood tests and blood tests and there too I have found staff to be helpful, friendly and knowledgable.
Charing Cross hospital is a vital community service. We really, really need it here.
Hilary Moor (resident of H&F) - 28 November 2016
Is this news true?
Why anyone want to close the hospital...
It has saved my life when I was having kidney infection...
Please say it's not true!!
Lola - 28 November 2016
Charing Cross Hospital is a centre of excellence, and its role as a teaching hospital is greatly valued by residents. My own care and treatment for Lymphoma was nothing short of exemplary, and being able to walk to the hospital from my home each time I needed Chemo or Radiotherapy gave me an achievable challenge, which I'm sure played a significant part in my speedy recovery and ultimate all-clear.
It's vitally important to have good-quality hospitals, local to where people live.
Giles Harrison - 25 November 2016
I was very sorry to read that NHS bosses are again attempting to demolish Charing Cross Hospital and reduce its capacity.
I have used this hospital at least 10 times in my time as a borough resident and would like to recommend it for its high level of professionalism and efficiency. I have used both the accident and emergency services and other services and have always felt very well looked after.
Please do as much as possible to keep our hospital fully running. The community needs it and its closure or reduction would be a disaster for so many of us. Please do whatever you can to defend it.
Nick Lamarti - 25 November 2016
For nearly a year I have been receiving treatment at the Charing Cross Hospital. The great thing with this hospital is the fact that all departments are under one roof - if you have to visit different departments it is up and down stairs or lift, rather than walking from building to building on a campus.
The population in Hammersmith and Fulham is increasing and for that reason we need more hospital facilities, not less. It is crazy to even think of closing departments down, let alone an entire hospital that is doing such a splendid job within the community.
My treatment could have been traumatic but wasn't thanks to the professionalism and caring approach of all the staff and volunteers at the Charing Cross - my grateful thanks to you all.
Jane Hoskins - 25 November 2016
Charing Cross Hospital were fantastic last year when I was diagnosed with pneumonia. My local GP had missed it but I knew I had something more than just a fever - being able to have an X-ray at Charing Cross to confirm what I had was crucial to getting better. We need a hospital there. C&W is already too busy and it will only get worse if the proposed changes to Charing Cross get the go ahead.
Laura Potel - 24 November 2016
I have attended Charing Cross literally hundred of times over the last 12 years for simple blood tests to life changing treatments.
It is deplorable that once again there are plans to close a critical, highly used and on the whole, well run hospital. The alternative would be extremely long waiting times and unacceptable distances to travel when one's health may be at risk. It is an extremely ill thought out plan!
SAVE CHARING CROSS!
Monica - 19 November 2016
My experiences of charing cross hospital have been of excellent and quick medical intervention and superb and supportive staff. I have had to visit the hospital as an emergency on two occasions and on each time I can not fault the care I received. To demolish the hospital would be of huge detriment to the local community who are able to call on this great establishment when in greatest need.
Sabrina - 19 November 2016
Charing Cross can't be shut down, I have so much to thank the staff for. In such a traumatic time in my life I received so much care and support. They work tremendously hard and do such an amazing job. Please tell me where people will get support, care and treatment for molar pregnancy if this happens.
Tanya Mayes - 18 November 2016
Had my cancer treatment here plus my reconstruction surgery from breast cancer here.
The staff are excellent very friendly and professional too, it's an outrage that anyone would think if closing this hospital down what to make flats as it seems to be all about money these days and not patient care Save Charing Cross for all our sakes.
Debby Zend - 17 November 2016
A heart breaking experience at Charring Cross Hospital was made easy with the amazing, care, compassion, love and support provided by Nurses, Doctors and specialists in the Neurological ward.
My Dad was 50 years old and was miss diagnosed by a junior Dr in Northwick Park Hospital Harrow, when he had a second bleed after being discharged from said hospital, he was taken by ambulance from our home to Ealing a Hospital who's care was also fantastic and they diagnosed a bleed on the brain. My Dad was then transferred for specialist care in Charring Cross.
Why have the government decided or remotely considering closing Charring Cross, they have already half closed Ealing Hospital a total disgrace, but left open Northwick Park hospital who have been in measures half a dozen times.
We need Charring Cross hospital in the West of London- stop the destruction of our health care!!!
Dismayed member of the public - 17 November 2016
Please save this hospital it saved my life. I had a brain tumour and was given 4 months to live with it. Seven years on I am still here and still attending. Please please do not close this hospital down.
Ann Ravening - 17 November 2016
In the year 2000 I was diagnosed with end stage renal failure and i started off on dialysis at charing cross hospital 11 south. The nurses back then who looked after was maria and chewdy and they were fantastic in dealing with all my tantrums and will be forever grateful.
Please save this hospital.
Deborah Culnane - 17 November 2016
I am not a local resident but I owe my life to this hospital.
Without their specialist unit for my cancer.....the only one in south England! My son would be growing up without a mum, my husband without a wife, my parents would have watched me die before them, my brother losing his only sister. The list could go on.
Writing this is making me cry as I feel 2 years on so privileged to have survived cancer, this is all because of the amazing staff at Charing Cross hospital. It is because of them I am due to meet my new baby in a few weeks.
It is a disgrace that our amazing hospitals are being closed as the land is worth money, our health is worth everything and lives should not suffer because of money. We are so lucky to have an NHS.
I thank all the staff at the hospital from the receptionists, cleaners, nurses to the professors and everyone in between. The Maggie centre staff at this hospital are worth their weight in gold. I can't praise this hospital enough. I'm not religious but I pray that this does not happen.
Vikki - 17 November 2016
I am an borough of Ealing resident along with my elderly parents. A couple of years ago my father had a stroke. We called 111 and they sent a rapid response unit who took my dad straight to Charing Cross stoke unit.
Thanks to there quick actions and quality care over the weeks my dad was well enough to be transferred to Hillingdon and then discharged home.
Charing Cross is a brilliant hospital and it would be a big lost to the community if they was close and could have devastating consequences.
If there is a petition please forward it to myself and my family to sign.
Anonymous - 16 November 2016
I have been a regular patient of Charing Cross Hospital for the last few years and have always received excellent care there. I have also seen the steady rise in the number of patients who attend my specialist unit who have to travel great distances to get the specialist care they need at Charing Cross. Charing Cross is a world class, extremely busy hospital in an accessible location and to close it would an absolute disaster.
Sarah Gosling - 15 November 2016
Having recently been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27 I have been transferred to Charing Cross for treatment. They have been nothing but fantastic! The staff are beyond supportive and, knowing I will be continuing treatment for a while longer, I feel safe in their hands! Demolishing this hospital and all of its much needed and brilliant services would be a travesty for the area!
Anonymous - 15 November 2016
I wanted to share my experience of Charing Cross Hospital as a local resident and an ongoing patient.
I have gone to Charing Cross several times for various reasons and most recently this month it was for issues with my heart. I needed an ECG and the staff were amazing. As you can imagine I was nervous but they eased my concerns - very customer serviced focussed, supportive and patient. And it was also reassuring to know that it was my local hospital and it was familiar territory for me and easy to get to.
However it took about 6 weeks before from the point of my GP referral to the point of getting an appointment at the hospital. Meanwhile I had several occasions where my heart was racing so fast that I thought I might be having a mini heart attack - however it was impossible to be seen sooner because of the waiting list. I can't imagine how long it would take if the services were diminished!
Please continue to invest in human wellbeing and health - including supporting and maintaining current hospital provision. Our society and economy and future prosperity depends on it.
Jen Morgan - 14 November 2016
Charing Cross Hospital was really excellent last year when I needed stitches for a deep cut in an awkward part of my thumb. I was able to jump on a bus there as I don't drive. If it wasn't open any more it would have been a much longer journey, and the wound was painful. The nurses and doctor who saw me were wonderful. I could tell the staff were stretched though and I felt very sorry for elderly patients sitting waiting in corridors. This hospital is a needed community facility and needs more funding not closure.
Lizzie Bruce - 14 November 2016
As a recent patient at Charing Cross hospital I was saddened and am totally against the planned closure. I was recently admitted as a medical emergency spending three nights and one night in the HDU ward. I was given excellent care by the wonderful doctors and nurses on duty, even though I was termed seriously ill I had to wait nearly three hours in A/E on a Monday evening. The pressure on the hospital is enormous so even greater pressure will be put on other London Hospitals if it is closed, an urgent care centre will not replace the excellent services that the Hospital provides to its local community.
Mrs Taylor Restell - 14 November 2016
It would be a disaster if this hospital was closed. I have been a patient here and cannot fault the treatment I received. All the doctors, nurses and support staff are kind and helpful. Whoever is behind the threat of closure should think again.
Jane Firebrace - 13 November 2016
We have lived in Fulham for 14 years. In April 2013 after a holiday in Rome, three days after our return, my wife suffered a brain haemorrhage and was in Charing Cross for six weeks. Thanks to the amazing professionalism and dedication from all the doctors consultants and nurses and physiotherapists, she survived and recovered... only to have two more strokes due to a blood problem which was discovered by the persistence of one of the consultant neurologists at Charing Cross Hospital to understand what and why it happened. Again she miraculously recovered from all the illness to almost full health. She is monitored every six months at the hospital and so far so good. It is going to be three years since her last haemorrhage in April 2017. She also tripped and fell and broke her hip in March 2014. She had an emergency operation at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital and then was followed up by the Charing Cross Hospital. Sadly she has to have another operation because of complications with the hip but this will be done at the Charing Cross Hospital where they have an excellent team with renowned surgeons working there. Physiotherapy will be done at the hospital. We live in Fulham and are indebted to Charing Cross Hospital as are probably thousands of people who are treated there every year. Yes... Charing Cross is in need of a complete refurbishment and update... but even with all the cutbacks and lack of serious funding, it is remarkable how professional and dedicated this hospital is. It would be a crime against humanity in every sense to close it down for the sake of rationalisation and cuts and... potentially just politics if one was to dig deeper.
Derek Seagrim - 13 November 2016
I have twice been an outpatient at Charing Cross Hospital for an examination and found their service excellent. I have also visited a close friend who was in Charing Cross Hospital and who found them very good. I hope that Charing Cross Hospital is left alone to continue its excellent service.
Gillian Shaw - 12 November 2016
I have lived in Fulham for over 30 years and Charing Cross Hospital saved my life in Jan 2010 when I had a stomach ache and BIKED to the hospital A&E services to have it checked out. They immediately performed an emergency appendix operation and hemicolectomy. I would, otherwise, have booked an appointment with my GP which would have been at least one week away as it would have been too far to bike to another hospital in the pain I was in. I live on my own and would not have been able to move or open the door to an ambulance (I am on the first floor up steep stairs with no buzzer to open the door) if it had got much worse at home. I have only visited Charing Cross Hospital four times in 30 years, each time an emergency, and they have provided essential services every time. Each time I also waited four hours so there is obviously more than enough need for their services. On top of this their existence saved my life so I believe there are very strong reasons for Charing Cross Hospital to remain for the sake of the health of the residents of Hammersmith & Fulham as there must be many other stories like mine.
Olivia - 12 November 2016
Keeping the Charing Cross Hospital open, including its excellent A&E department is ESSENTIAL! We have used it several times, including, most recently, the evening of November 11. My husband, aged 84, collapsed and fainted at Westfield Vue cinema at about 6pm. He was unconscious for about 10-15 minutes. Following the advice of the Westfield staff, we waited for them to provide a wheelchair. When this (finally) arrived, they wheeled him to the level where we could get a taxi. Once we arrived at the Charing Cross A&E at 7pm, my husband was seen quickly, first by a GP, and then in the A&E department itself. During the next four hours he was checked very thoroughly by the doctors and nurses. We really appreciated this. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and dehydration, as causes of the fainting. He was advised to go to the cardiology department early next week, and was allowed to go home in the meantime. Luckily my husband had not have a heart attack or stroke, but if he had, the excellent Charing Cross services, including the SPECIALISED STROKE UNIT, would have been essential in reducing damage. Closing the hospital would mean travelling much further to another unit. Closing it would be a major mistake for a number of other reasons as well. Many people need it and use it, and if it is shut, any substitute A&E department would be a longer trip for local patients such as ourselves, as well as far more crowded. Overcrowding has already happened in other hospitals which have to receive patients from hospitals in which the A&E departments have closed. Closing the hospital would be extremely unfortunate!
Lynda Harris - 12 November 2016
Please do not close it is a wonderful hospital and badly needed.
Jean Pierre Payat - 11 November 2016
Charing Cross Hospital has always been there for our family over the years. This year I have been going through treatment for breast cancer and I cannot fault the care that I have had. It's important to be close to a local hospital when going through this intense treatment. Chemotherapy often requires close contact with staff and urgent access to help and care and the hospital does a great job despite being short of staff at times. Let's keep it!
Sally Abingdon - 11 November 2016
It seems impossible to believe that Charing Cross Hospital is still under the gun, despite the failure of other hospitals to cope with the overload due to other hospital closures!
In February I found myself being taken to Charing Cross A&E, then admitted for ten days. I had excellent care from the moment I arrived until the moment I left which was in great contrast to the lack of service I experienced at another hospital which has previously been designated as one of the hospitals expected to pick up the patients of a closed Charing Cross. Given the chaos I experienced in the pick-up hospital, without the extra patient load, I can't imagine how that would serve the good of the patients. Do not close Charing Cross Hospital as there is no where better for us to go.
Suzanne Burke - 11 November 2016
This is appalling. Have the Government taken into account the extra housing being built everywhere in the borough and where will all the extra residents go for hospital care? We are sorely under provided for hospital care and the specialist work that Charing Cross does.
Irene - 11 November 2016
I live locally and have always had world class treatment at Charing Cross Hospital. I am against the thought of closing such a vital hospital. Please STOP this.
Ruben Menezes - 11 November 2016
My wife has had a wide variety of treatments at Charing Cross Hospital. In each case the standard of medical expertise has been impeccable and the management and organisation has also been excellent. It would be a tragedy to destroy such a great institution.
Peter Baring - 11 November 2016
Could you please tell me what the "North West London STP" says about Charing Cross Hospital? Where are the references in the report?
David Clark - 11 November 2016
Charing Cross has been a shining beacon since I moved to Fulham. It has helped me personally four of the most critical times of my life... twice when I was unable to walk and twice when I was unable to see. The care and consideration was beyond compare, even in the private sector. In fact BETTER than the private sector. PLEASE PLEASE do NOT destroy this wonderful hospital.
Mrs H Brown - 11 November 2016
My brother received first class treatment at the hospital. How on earth can any government think about closing a hospital like Charing Cross - just another example of trying to save money at the expense of safety.
Ellen Keegan - 11 November 2016
Thank you for the invitation to a meeting to discuss the planned closure of Charing Cross Hospital. I am very glad that the council is fighting the proposal so vigorously. I have visited friends and relatives many times at Charing Cross and have been treated there myself. I wholeheartedly support your campaign.
Carole Mansur - 11 November 2016
London is growing in size and population and yet hospitals are been closed. This does not make any sense, for in a few years when the people making these decisions realised the folly of their ways they will be trying to buy back the premises and find they can't afford them. My wife uses Charing Cross every month for treatment and I believe it is essential that this hospital stay open for the huge number of patients that it currently serves. This hospital is much needed and appreciated by those who use it.
Simon Lawless - 10 November 2016
As a regular patient at the Charing Cross Hospital I cannot stress enough how important it is that this hospital remains open. It offers wonderful care for all its patients and there is simply too much pressure on existing hospitals therefore you cannot in any shape or form justify closing this hospital or even downsizing it. It is an essential part of the borough which hugely benefits its residents.
Georgina Lawless - 10 November 2016
I was very disappointed to read that NHS bosses are again attempting to demolish Charing Cross Hospital and reduce it to just 13 per cent of its current size.
I was recently a patient in the A&E department and was then admitted for two days. Throughout my time there, in A&E and on the ward, I met with complete efficiency and also kindness and helpfulness from all the staff, both medical and administrative. It is a splendid hospital and so much needed. It also has very high standards of cleanliness. Today on the bus I met a friend who was coming to Charing Cross A&E as she had heard how good it is.
It would be a disaster to lose any part of this excellent hospital. Please do whatever you can to defend it.
Nicola Westropp - 9 November 2016