Charing Cross Hospital
HEALTH chiefs have this afternoon (19) confirmed their intention to shut A&E units at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospital.
Members of the Save Our Hospitals campaign are now backing a judicial review against the decision which was proposed by NHS North West London and rubber-stamped by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts today.
Under the plans Charing Cross will be demolished and a specialist GP facility will be built in its place, using just 3 per cent of the land in Fulham Palace Road but with no acute services and 440 fewer beds.
Hammersmith Hospital, in Du Cane Road, will lose its accident and emergency unit but remain a specialist hospital.
The group - who have been fighting proposed closures at Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals - now want the proposals to go before the secretary of state Jeremy Hunt, in the hope of overturning the decision.
This process is expected to take a number of months.
Legal proceedings must be spearheaded by a local authority and the group has the support of Ealing Council after Hammersmith and Fulham vowed not to fight the decision.
Earlier this month the authority pulled out of the campaign at the eleventh hour after brokering a deal with NHS NW London behind closed doors which would see Charing Cross retaining a 24/7 emergency run GP facility.
As part of the deal, money from the sale of the site in Fulham Palace Road will also be invested into the new Specialist Health and Social Care Hospital.
The council's claims that it had 'saved' Charing Cross angered protesters who feel its actions have undermined the campaign and sounded the death knell for all hospitals involved.
Secretary of the campaign and Hammersmith MP, Andy Slaughter, said: “This is a sleazy deal between Hammersmith & Fulham Council and local NHS to close both the borough’s A&E departments.
Imperial Healthcare and Hammersmith & Fulham Council should be ashamed they are supporting closures at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals. They are putting political and commercial interests above residents’ health.”
A rally was held on Saturday in Lyric Square where a number of emphatic speeches were delivered by speakers including campaign chair, Carlo Nero, Mr Slaughter and Dr Jenny Vaughn, a GP at Ealing Hospital, bemoaning health chiefs.
A lot of vitriol was aimed at Hammersmith and Fulham Council for its decision to pull out of the Save Our Hospitals Campaign.
When Mr Nero took to the stage to address the ‘council’s betrayal’, protesters in the crowd shouted ‘for shame’.
He said: “This is a disgrace, we will not stop campaigning, we will not stop applying pressure. We will do everything that it takes to stop them from taking our local services.
“We do not believe the council’s spin that it has ‘saved’ Charing Cross Hospital.
“The fact of the matter is the entire borough will be without any A&E services - that is a fact.
“This is not right.”