acute capacity



    Four hundred people came to Hammersmith Town Hall on a cold Tuesday night (29th November) to hear about the fight against NHS proposals which will force the closure of Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals.

    Health services in the north west of London are already stretched after "Shaping a Healthier Future" (SaHF) plans (2012) resulted in the closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals’ A&E departments in September 2014. Ealing lost its maternity unit in 2015 and its children's ward last June.

    In June 2016 local authorities in England were being asked to sign up to Sustainability and Transformation Plans ("STPs") but Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham Councils have refused to do so, saying that this would see the end of their hospitals as major providers of vitally needed blue-light A&Es and acute beds.

    The meeting was chaired by Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Vivienne Lukey, cabinet member for health and adult social care.

  • Just before the AGM of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on Wednesday 14th September 2016 SOH protesters cornered Sir Richard Sykes and got him to admit on camera that his Trust (along with all other hospital trusts) was underfunded, that there were no "efficiency" savings to be made, that doctors and other medical staff were working incredibly hard - 18 hour days! - and very efficiently and "we're killing them!", and that he was under pressure to raise money by selling off land because he had to build new hospital buildings using only money which the Trust itself could raise. He agreed that "there isn't the capacity" to close the A&E and the acute services at Charing Cross.

    This video footage was forwarded to BBC News who used it in the next day's evening bulletin.


  • Letter to Evening Standard 17th December 2014 from Dr Louise Irvine:


    "You attribute A&E delays partly to frivolous use of services by patients; but “too many people attending A&E” does not explain the winter crisis. Higher numbers attended A&E in June and July, yet cases meeting the four-hour performance target stayed above 92 per cent, compared with the first week in December when it dropped to 87.7 per cent.

    The real explanation is the mismatch between the rising trend of hospital admissions and the cut in the number of acute beds, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in the number of people spending between four and 12 hours on trolleys before a bed is found. As admissions increase, delays in transferring patients to beds cause pressure in A&E and the four-hour performance falls. The beds shortage is compounded by delayed discharge from hospital due to social services cuts: delayed discharge figures for October were the highest since data collection started in 2010.

    The impact on remaining A&Es is horrendous. Emergency doctors in Ealing describe arriving for a shift and being greeted with the words “there are no beds”. Staff spend precious time running around trying to set up beds in any corner they can find. Patients waiting for hours on trolleys risk deterioration.