NHS Birthday Rally and Party in Frank Banfield Park and Fulham Palace Road on Saturday 5th July 2014 at 2pm
The Board of Imperial College NHS Trust, meeting at Hammersmith Hospital's W12 conference centre today, Wednesday 28th May, confirmed the closure of the Accident and Emergency department at the hospital and set the date for 10th September.
The board discussed some aspects of the staffing and training requirements for a transfer of "blue-light" patients to St Mary's, Paddington. They also discussed the implementation of a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre manned by nurse practitioners and GPs at Hammersmith. But the public was left with the impression that many details of the transfer were still to be decided. Some important matters, such as the impact of this decision on "blue-light" admissions to Charing Cross A&E, which is also facing eventual closure, were not discussed.
Representatives from "Save Our Hospitals" flagged up at the end of the Board Meeting that the critical decision about whether to travel to a distant A&E or not will be left up to the patient/carer OR the London Ambulance Service, neither of whom are qualified to make this decision. And the extra distance will be costly for people already living in a deprived area. Finally the closure seemed to be financially driven and very poorly advertised. In an apparent sign of lingering doubt Jeremy Isaacs, a non-executive director of Imperial, reminded the Board that "the world will be watching" after September 10th.
At the same meeting the Board heard that the financial performance of the Trust is adrift from its predictions. In particular the savings from Cost Improvement Plans were behind schedule, and expenditure on agency doctors, nurses and administrative staff were higher than expected. Overall the financial picture was not moving in the direction of satisfying Monitor that the Trust is ready to acquire Foundation status yet. But staff morale is good and the clinical outcomes continue to improve from an already very high standard.
SOH made the issue of the future of our local health services the dominant issue in the local election, which is a fantastic achievement.
Our campaign against "candidates who don't listen" has helped to remove the pro-A&E-closure councillors and brought in councillors who are committed to fighting to save Charing Cross Hospital, an even greater achievement.