Save Our Hospitals Campaigners Plan Week of Action

Ending with Lyric Square rally and benefit gig at Distillers pub

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Save Our Hospitals campaigners are planning a Week of action from February 9 to 16, culminating in a rally in Lyric Square followed by a benefit gig at the Distillers pub in Fulham Palace Road.

Hammersmith and Fulham residents will join campaigners from across London in the Week of Action, ahead of February 19, when NHS North West London will make its final recommendations.

The campaign says an unprecedented coalition of London residents, medical staff, trade unions and health campaigners has come together to raise the alarm regarding the biggest threats to A & E's, maternity units and in-hospital care for a generation.

In our borough, NHS plans are to close the A & E units at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals and to reduce other services.

The week will include protests, pickets, rallies, demonstrations, candle lit vigils, musical events and more. In West London, there will also be vigils outside Ealing and Central Middlesex Hospitals and a march from Kingston Hospital.

Campaigners in South East London, meanwhile are fighting to save Lewisham Hospital's new A&E and maternity units in order to meet the debts of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Save Our Hospitals says the NHS plans for A&E closures at Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Ealing and Central Middlesex hospitals follow a botched three-month consultation exercise that was heavily slanted in favour of the commissioners' five 'preferred' hospitals: Chelsea & Westminster, St Mary's, Hillingdon, West Middlesex and Northwick Park.

In some areas the axed A&Es will be replaced by Urgent Care Centres – GP-run walk-in clinics able to treat only a limited number of minor conditions. In other areas, hospitals in adjacent boroughs will be expected to take up the slack. I our area that means Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in Chelsea and West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth.

Here is the programme of local events during the Week of Action, with local residents urged to come along and take part.

February 9 - Vigil outside Ealing Hospital organised by the Save Our Hospitals Ealing campaign, 5pm–6.30pm. Vigil outside Central Middlesex Hospital, organised by Campaign to Defend Brent's Health Services, 5pm-6.30pm.

February 11 - Defend London's NHS Press Conference Jubilee Room, House of Commons, 10-11.45am.

February 14 - Save Our Hospitals Ealing campaigners will deliver a novelty Valentine’s card with the inscription ‘We Love our A&Es' to NW London NHS.

16 February 2013 – Demonstration and march from Kingston Hospital to Kingston Guildhall, 12-2pm.

Save Our Hospitals Hammersmith & Fulham rally, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith 12-2pm. Followed by a benefit gig at The Distillers, Hammersmith – doors open at 7pm.

Local residents are also invited to come along and join candlelit vigils outside Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals, taking place every Sunday from 5pm - 6pm.

Local feelings about the plans has been running high for months, with two ongoing campaigns against the proposals.

Save Our Hospitals is run by a group of local people along with MP Andy Slaughter. You can find out more about the Save our Hospitals and offers your support at the website  and follow it on twitter, hashtag #Saveourhospitals.

You can read more about Hammersmith and Fulham Council's opposition to the plans on its website at Save Charing Cross Hospital and Save Hammersmith Hospital.

February 1, 2013