Council Responds Angrily to NHS Closure Proposals

"We will fight tooth and nail to save Charing Cross"

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council has issued a strong response to an NHS report which proposes closing A&E services at four west London hospitals, including Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals - and is urging local people to make their views heard.

The council says a document, published by NHS North West London yesterday, June 21, proposes closing four of the nine A&E centres in the area and downgrading some hospitals, including Charing Cross, from "‘major" centres with a wide range of clinical specialisms to "‘local" hospitals.

The NHS preferred option could also see the loss of the hyper-acute stroke unit at Charing Cross.

Cllr Marcus Ginn, cabinet member for community care at the council, says: "We have been warning of the threat to Charing Cross hospital for many months and this confirms our worst fears.

"We will be fighting tooth and nail to save Charing Cross – the public are not going to accept this plan quietly, especially when the case for stripping all the major service out of such a well loved and respected centre of excellence is not supported by evidence.

"Over many months of questioning on this, NHS bureaucrats have failed to address concerns that this will leave thousands of residents dangerously distant from emergency care or to show that lives will not be put at risk by these closures.

"We think it is madness that they have not taken account of the fact that only Charing Cross has the space for expansion and the public transport links that a major hospital requires.

"They have not taken account of the thousands on new homes being built in west London which will mean we need more local access to hospitals, not less.

"We have warned them not to go down this path. The public reaction is going to be immense."

A public consultation will begin in July with a final decision on the proposed changes being made early in 2013.

June 22, 2012