Hammersmith & Fulham Council condemns London A&E closures


Proposals made by NHS North West London could see four out of nine A&E units shut in the reorganisation of hospital services.


By Charlene Cole

Hammersmith and Fulham Council is condemning plans to close A&E units across North West London.

Proposals made by NHS North West London will be consulted at the end of the month but the plans could see four out of nine A&E units shut in the reorganisation of hospital services.

The downgrade of the major hospitals will see residents of Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith travel further for casualty treatment.  

Hammersmith and Fulham Council leader Stephen Greenhalgh commented that he foresaw this, stating that for years he warned that Charing Cross Hospital was facing closure by stealth.

He said: “The piecemeal dismantling of hospital service is set to continue across west London without long-term vision and site strategy for specialist services being in place.”

Councillor Greenhalgh added: “Removing all A&E services in my borough makes no sense when Hammersmith & Fulham is set for dramatic growth in its three ‘Opportunity Areas’ at Earl’s Court, White City and Park Royal.”

Central Middlesex Hospital would be significantly affected by the cutbacks, while decisions are to be made between Hammersmith or St. Mary’s, Ealing or West Middlesex.

Chelsea & Westminster and Charing Cross also face consideration even though Charing Cross has one of London’s busiest A&E units.

The combined A&E patients Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospital are up to 100,000 a year with 20,000 emergency admissions.

The shake-up comes as the NHS try to save £20billion to help meet the costs of a rising elderly population.

NHS London said: “Our commitment is that there will be no change to services unless it improves care for patients. However there is no London-wide plan. This is being led by doctors in discussion with their patients, other clinicians and local politicians.”

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