Government NHS cuts will mean that Accident & Emergency departments at Hammersmith Hospital and Charing Cross will close, leaving the borough with no A&E department.
This shocking announcement was slipped out on Thursday evening ahead of a meeting of NHS Northwest London on Monday. Ealing and Central Middlesex A&Es are also set to close despite promises by David Cameron and Andrew Lansley as recently as last year that they were safe.
Firstly, this is a risk to the life and health of everyone who lives in Hammersmith & Fulham. Travel times to the nearest alternatives in Westminster and Chelsea are unpredictable and in heavy traffic can mean half hour or hour delays. Even ambulances will find the journeys difficult.
But it also means the end of the line for both hospitals as cutting edge clinical centres. A&E departments require a wide range of clinical expertise to be available 24/7. With no A&E the whole hospital is downgraded. Over time Charing Cross will become a glorified health centre, something Conservative Governments have planned for decades. Hammersmith will remain a research centre with private investment by pharmaceutical companies, but will no longer provide immediate care for local residents.
Local Labour MP Andy Slaughter, whose constituency includes both hospitals said:
“This is totally unacceptable, and must be stopped. Whenever the Tories are in government, the NHS is at risk – now under this Coalition we find not one but both local hospitals threatened.
“The last major threat to our local health service was in the early 1990s. Then the whole community came together and fought a successful campaign to save Charing Cross from closure. Now we must do the same to save the A&E departments at both Charing Cross and Hammersmith.
What you can do now:
Join Andy Slaughter at the meeting of NHS Northwest London at Central Westminster Hall, this Monday, 25th June
- Attend the public meeting at 6-7pm on Thursday 28 June VENUE to be announced
- Email SaveHFNHS@andyslaughter.com
- Tell us your views on Twitter using #SaveHFNHS
Keep up with developments at www.andyslaughter.com