|Rally To Oppose Hospital Cuts|
Residents urged to show support for local hospital
Ealing residents are being encouraged to attend a rally to show their opposition to NHS plans to cut hospital services in north west London on Saturday, 19 October.
The rally will be held in Brent Meadow, Uxbridge Road from 1pm. The entrance to the meadow is opposite Ealing Hospital, close to Hanwell Bridge.
The rally will be the third of its kind to be held since the NHS announced plans to shut A&E services at Ealing, Central Middlesex, Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals, and downgrade other services including maternity and paediatrics. Campaigners are concerned about the safety and scale of the NHS’s plan, which would leave three London boroughs, with a total population the size of Leeds, without a major hospital.
Ealing Council referred the NHS’s decision to the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt MP last March. After this, Mr Hunt ordered an independent panel to carry out a review of the plans and it presented this report to him on 13 September. After the secretary of state has considered the report he will make the final decision on whether to approve the plans. This decision is expected to be made soon.
Council leader Julian Bell said: “We want as many people as possible to attend the rally to show their support for our local hospitals. It is important that the NHS and the secretary of state understand that our voice is still as loud as ever and we will not go away.
“If these plans go ahead people in Ealing will be further away for emergency treatment even under ‘blue light’ conditions when every second counts. Why should we accept this second rate service? We are told that these plans are in our best interests but know that they are driven by finances, not patient care or choice.
“It is not too late for the secretary of state to reject these plans. I would welcome the opportunity to speak to him about the grave concerns the council and campaigners have about what is proposed.”
All political parties on Ealing Council oppose the proposals.
9th October 2013