|'A Matter of Life and Death'|
Huge march and rally through Ealing over risk to health services
There was a massive show of strength in Ealing yesterday (Saturday 15th September) as thousands of people turned out to protest against plans to shut local Accident and Emergency (A&E) units.
The three Ealing MPs, councillors from all political parties and concerned residents joined two marches, one from Southall Park and another from Acton Park, meeting in Ealing Common.
It was part of the Save Our Hospitals campaign to fight NHS proposals which include downgrading Ealing Hospital to a ‘local hospital’, stripping it of nine of the 11 major types of service currently provided on-site, including the A&E.
Other A&E departments at risk are at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals.
Ealing North Labour MP Steve Pound said: '' It's quite frankly a matter of life and death.
"It's not a matter of lifestyle choice, it's not a matter of preference or some sort of consumer choice 'We go to this hospital or that hospital'. It's no hospital or this hospital."
The NHS believes bigger hospitals would improve patient care and asked people to take part in the consultation.
A spokesman for NHS North West London said: "We welcome public engagement in our consultation and it is good to see so many people caring about improving the quality of local health services across North West London, which is what our programme is all about.
"We would encourage all those taking part today to fill in the consultation form as that will be the most effective way of making their views known."
Read a report of the day from Ealing's Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor Gary Malcom here
16th September 2012