I discovered today that the final decision on the future of Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals – the three major hospitals run by Imperial Healthcare Trust – which was due to be made next Wednesday 28 May has been further postponed until 30 July at the earliest.
This means the announcement on the future of our borough’s two hospitals has now been delayed for almost a year.
The reason is not a re-think about the closure of both A&Es and demolition of Charing Cross but another financial crisis.
Amid major changes to the management at Imperial, the money is simply not there to fund ‘integrated care’ and the switch from acute to primary care services. The promise to improve GP and other community services before any cuts are made to accident and emergency cannot at present be met.
However, there is no reprieve for the emergency services already marked for closure. Imperial and the local NHS – and of course the Coalition Government and Conservative Party in H&F - are continuing to support the closure of Hammersmith’s A&E this year and the demolition of Charing Cross with the loss of all consultant emergency services.
In the words of Medical Director, Dr Mark Spencer “Ealing and Charing Cross would be designated local hospitals and would provide a GP led service. They would not take blue light patients.”. His comments were recorded at the health scrutiny committee for NW London, chaired by Hammersmith Tory Councillor Lucy Ivimy.
The worsening crisis in our local hospitals makes David Cameron’s wholly false statement about Charing Cross appear even more cynical. Below is the letter I wrote challenging him on the false statement he made in Hammersmith last week.
I am not expecting much from the reply. The PM has form for dodging tricky questions - as Labour Leader Stephen Cowan found out in 2010 when the PM last got caught out spreading mistruths about what the Tories were really getting up to here.
In his latest blog Stephen asks "Did David Cameron Mess Up Or Was He Deliberately Trying To Mislead Residents About H&F’s NHS?"
Either way H&F residents deserve better.
This Thursday, 22 May, Hammersmith & Fulham residents will elect a new Council and London members of the European Parliament.
Readers of my E-news will know my opposition to H&F Conservative Council’s housing policies, their support for demolishing Charing Cross Hospital and closing both borough A&Es, and their willingness to climb into bed with any luxury developer or property speculator.
Last week we were graced by the presence of the Prime Minister as David Cameron made a bizarre flying visit to Hammersmith. In a visit to meet Conservative councillors that was both short and unexpected (including to them), the PM did not bother to meet actual Hammersmith residents. He then went on to declare his support for the demolition of Charing Cross Hospital, airport expansion, and the sale and demolition of council homes.
The Tory’s Parliamentary candidate commented: “We didn’t ask him to come here.” and that Cameron’s visit was “very smoke and mirrors”. Which says a lot about them both.
In less than two weeks, London votes in Council – and European – Elections.
One issue has dominated this election campaign – and indeed politics in Hammersmith & Fulham for two years: the Government’s proposals to demolish Charing Cross Hospital and close the A&Es both there and at Hammersmith Hospital.
Housing Crisis in Hammersmith Fuelled by Council Policy to Cut Affordable Homes
New research published today reveals how Conservative-run Hammersmith & Fulham Council has helped create the housing crisis in the borough.
Selling off council homes on the open market, emptying and demolishing blocks of affordable flats, allowing developers to make excess profits by including no low-cost homes in major schemes, manipulating statistics to hide housing need and classing households on incomes of £80,000 as a priority for rehousing are some of the techniques used to alter the social make up of the borough.
Closure of the Chronicle
As many of you will no doubt already know, the Hammersmith & Fulham Chronicle is to close on the 25th of April, leaving Hammersmith & Fulham as the only London Borough without a local newspaper.
I was very sad to hear this, having been a reader for the best part of half a century and a columnist or correspondent for almost 30 years. I recently submitted what may well be my final column in the paper.
Biggest ever planning giveaway marks end of Tory misrule in H&F
3 April was Christmas and Birthday in one if you are a developer looking to maximise your profit in Hammersmith & Fulham.
Council's Parking Fine income trebles in 5 years
Hammersmith & Fulham Council's annual revenue from parking fines has nearly trebled in the last 5 years, from £6 million to £17.8 million.
In a recent report in the Evening Standard, it was reported that the Minister for London, Brandon Lewis MP, believes that, "some councils are raising money illegally from parking."
One of the most successful policies implemented by former Mayor, Ken Livingstone, was the introduction of Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams for each ward in London.
These officers provided local people with reassurance, they were able to form strong, local links to help reduce crime, and they improved the public's opinion of the Met while also making people feel safer.