CAMPAIGNERS will fight to the bitter end to stop the closure of accident and emergency departments in Hammersmith and Fulham despite health bosses saying it is unlikely they will succeed.
Those leading a public consultation on the controversial plans admit that even a petition signed by thousands will not persuade them to change course.
Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals both stand to lose their A&E departments under NHS North West Londons shake-up of services.
Speaking at the launch of the NHS trusts 14-week public consultation on Monday, Dr Mark Spencer, leading the project, was asked if petitions or campaigns could make a difference.
He said: No. People are currently wedded to mediocre services. If we dont do this then people need to realise that our hospitals will go bankrupt. We have already seen this in south London.
The changes will allow us to create a better system for keeping people well in the community and preventing the unnecessary hospital admissions that are putting a strain on NHS resources.
Despite his admission, the Chronicle is teaming up with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, local MPs and campaign groups to continue to fight for our A&Es.
Addressing a large audience in a meeting at Rivercourt Methodist Church, in King Street, on Thursday last week, Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter said: This is the biggest challenge I have faced as an MP, but this is not a political issue it is one for the whole community and we all need to come together and fight this.
The council is asking people to share their experiences of being treated at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals.
Councillor Marcus Ginn, community care leader, said: Changing NHS minds to reverse these plans is not going to be easy and we want to show them the real human impact of the changes they are pushing.
The closures are part of a reorganisation of services which will also see Ealing and Central Middlesex Hospitals lose their A&E units.
All will be downgraded to local hospitals with urgent care centres that could treat illnesses and minor fractures.
The news sparked anger from across the borough and petitions to save A&E departments at both hospitals are approaching 3,000 signatures.
To sign the councils petitions visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/savecharingcross and www.lbhf.gov.uk/savehammersmith. Leave your experiences at www.lbhf.gov.uk/yourstories.
The consultation runs until October 8. To have your say visit www.healthiernorthwestlondon.nhs.uk.