• The rising pressures on Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust finally took their toll yesterday. Dr Tracey Batten, CEO of the trust with three of the busiest acute hospitals in west London, resigned after the Board meeting in public at Charing Cross yesterday, Wednesday 25th January 2017.

    The timing of this resignation could not be worse, with A&E attendances rising to unmanageable levels, a growing waiting list for surgery both emergency and elective, and a programme of redevelopment at a critical point at St Mary's and in the wider context of the "Shaping a Healthier Future" business plans.

    Dr Batten was brave and honest to allow the BBC full access to Imperial's hospitals over 6 weeks. The documentary series "Hospital" is being broadcast on BBC2 on Wednesdays at 9pm, available later on the i-player.

    The Trust is closely helped by PwC for day-to-day financial management, although we were assured at the Board meeting on Wednesday that it "can pay its bills".

    NW London is one of the 44  NHS "footprints" in the most advanced stages of preparation for the implementation of its "Sustainability and Transformation Plan". It is known to be closely watched by the Department of Health. The pressure of implementing completely unwarranted and impossible cuts has, it is believed, prompted this resignation. We look forward to Imperial acknowledging that the evidence shows increased demand for beds, not for cuts in beds and staff.

    Postscript:  On 6th February Dr Batten informed us that in 6 months she will be going back to spend time with her ageing parents in Australia.



  • 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.


  • Friday 27th November 2015  Evening Standard and on-line

    Lord Robert Winston among 321 Imperial consultants to back junior doctors


    Lord Winston, the world-renowned fertility expert, was today among more than 300 consultants at one of the UK’s biggest NHS trusts to give their public backing to junior doctors.

    As talks resumed at Acas this morning in a bid to avert three days of strikes due to start next Tuesday, senior clinicians at Imperial College Healthcare criticised the Government for a “lack of understanding” over its proposed imposition of new junior doctor contracts.

    A total of 321 Imperial consultants signed a letter to the trust’s junior doctors, vowing to ensure that patient safety is maintained in the event of any walkout and telling them: “You have our full understanding and practical and moral support.”

    The letter is signed by some of the most eminent clinicians working in the NHS, including Lord Winston, a professor of science and society and emeritus professor of fertility studies, cardiologist Professor Petros Nihoyannopoulos, kidney expert Professor Charles Pusey and cancer surgeon Professor Nagy Habib.

    Another signatory, paediatric consultant Dr Bernie Borgstein, told the Standard that she had never seen the medical profession so united in her 34 years as a doctor.

    “I have heard some people say it’s unethical for doctors to strike,”she said. “I think it’s unethical for them not to in a situation where there is a long-term threat to patient safety. In my mind, it’s a form of whistle blowing.”

    The letter states: “We would like to publicly register our concern regarding the new contract and its impact on junior doctor morale, clinical and academic training and retention, patients safety and the very future of medical research and of the NHS.”

    Click here to see the letter in full and all the signatories: Imperial Consultant’s Letter to Junior Doctors November 27th 2015

    Dr Antonio de Marvao, a junior doctor who helped to organise the letter, said: “At such a difficult time it is crucial to know that we can count on the strong support from our consultants and to know that they will ensure our patients will remain safe.

    “It should also be a reality check to the Department of Health when such a large number of experienced clinicians and distinguished academics stand with their juniors in saying that this new contract is unfair, unsafe and unworkable.”

    Consultants at two other major London NHS trusts, Barts Healthand St George’s Healthcare, have already issued public declarations of support.

    If the Acas talks fail, junior doctors are due to walk out for 24 hours from 8am next Tuesday – though not in emergency departments – and between 8am-5pm on December 8 and 16.






    The Care Quality Commission criticised some of the care and conditions at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary's Hospitals.



    Updated: 11:49, 16 December 2014


    One of London’s biggest A&E departments was today rated as “inadequate” by a watchdog, while a casualty unit which is due to be downgraded at a sister hospital was found to be “good”.

    The report has further inflamed the row over changes to A&Es in west London by revealing failings at the unit in  St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington — which is due to be extended — while praising emergency care at Charing Cross Hospital.

    Hammersmith Labour MP Andy Slaughter said plans to replace Charing Cross’s A&E with a GP-led “emergency centre” by 2020 “must be shelved” following the release of the “depressing” Care Quality Commission report. He said: “It would be madness to press ahead with the closure of Charing Cross A&E and the demolition of the hospital. West London cannot cope with the demands on its acute hospitals.”

    Today’s CQC report into Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said it that “requires improvement” overall after checks in September at four of its five hospitals: the others were Hammersmith — before its A&E unit closed — and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea.

    Last week, Imperial was one of two west London trusts named as among the worst in the country for delays at main A&Es, a situation critics blamed on the closures at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex on September 10.

  • The Care Quality Commission made an inspection of four out of the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on 2-5th September 2014 (a few days before the closure of the A&E at Hammersmith Hospital, which was not inspected). The CQC report is published on 16th December.

    The full inspection report for Imperial Trust is published on the CQC's website.

    There are recommendations for improvement for each of the hospitals.

    The findings are summarised in tabular form. There is one page for St Mary's and Charing Cross and another for Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte.


    The launch of the independent Commission on the future of our A&Es is a good time to reflect on the work Hammersmith and Fulham’s Labour council has done to protect the local health service. A key aspect of the May 2014 election campaign was anger over the previous Conservative administration’s decision to support the effective removal of both A&Es in the borough and the sale of most of the Charing Cross site to developers for conversion into luxury flats.

    In the years before the election, dedicated volunteers in the Save our Hospitals campaign leafleted residents, ran street stalls and gathered tens of thousands of residents to raise awareness about the NHS’s dangerous closures plans. In its election manifesto, Hammersmith and Fulham Labour pledged to immediately reverse the Council’s position and to fight for the future of Charing Cross A&E and the borough’s health service.


    Sell-off plans: Charing Cross hospital

    Sell-off plans: Charing Cross hospital


    At the AGM of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on Wednesday 24th September at Porchester Hall, Porchester Road W2 starting at 18.00

    The sale of a large part of the Charing Cross hospital site is the only way to avoid using a “disastrous” PFI deal to fund rebuilding plans, campaigners have been told.

    In angry scenes, Sir Richard Sykes, chairman of Imperial College NHS trust, said there was a pressing need to upgrade its sister hospital, St Mary’s, and convert Charing Cross into an outpatient day surgery hospital.

  • Updated: 11:20, here 10 September 2014


    A boss at the NHS trust that today shut a leading west London A&E department has issued a stark warning about the “awful” state of its finances.

    In an internal memo titled “Finances — urgh!” Professor Jamil Mamet, who heads the surgery and cancer division of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said it had overspent by £1.8million in July alone on the back of similar overspends in April and May.

  • From Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's newsletter  "360 degrees" Summer 2014 issue:

    "Forming the Future"



    Please note that nothing is said about "Shaping a Healthier Future", the report for NW London NHS which paved the way for the "reconfiguration" or cutting of A&E services and the downgrading of Charing Cross Hospital. Are all the options really on the table?

    This is a highly political PR exercise, whose outcome is extremely uncertain.

    Under "Next steps":

    "Our clinical strategy and preferred site development option will be presented to the Trust board for approval on 30 July"

    This is a PUBLIC BOARD meeting. You may attend and you may ask questions at the end.....