Letter to Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle


12th February 2013

Dear Sir,


Until last week, the resident-led campaign to save Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals thought it was fighting for the same cause as the Council. We now feel deeply betrayed by our elected representatives who have meekly given in to NHS bosses at the eleventh hour without any prior consultation with the community whatsoever.


The fact is Charing Cross would be reduced to 10% of its current size. Instead of a full-service A&E able to take blue-light emergency cases, we will be left with a GP-run ‘urgent care centre’ equipped to treat only minor procedures.


Gone too would be Charing Cross’s intensive care unit and associated specialist acute services.  500 in-patient beds would be reduced to only 60 beds. As in the original proposals all acute services would go from Charing Cross.


Yes, we are told the £20-30 million that NHS North West London had originally proposed for new primary care services would be increased to £60-90m. But this is a fraction of what Imperial NHS Trust stands to realise from the sale of the remainder of the site.


And what is the use of better primary care if, when you fall sick and are desperately in need of specialist treatment, you can’t get access to a consultant or a bed because most of the hospital has been demolished?


Worse, we now hear that Hammersmith Hospital, whose A&E we have also been fighting to save, is not even going to get an Urgent Care Centre. Instead, it will become a referral hospital with no walk-in facility whatsoever.


We’re not opposed to change on any terms, but even with a few bells and whistles added this is still the same Option A that we have been opposing for months – and it is disingenuous to claim otherwise.


As we saw in Lewisham there are always alternatives and there is every reason to believe we can obtain a far better deal if we continue to exert pressure together as a community. That is why we are continuing our campaign and urge residents, doctors, patients and health workers to join our rally this Saturday, 12 noon, in Lyric Square.


Yours faithfully,


Carlo Nero

Chair – Save Our Hospitals – Hammersmith and Charing Cross campaign


Press Conference in House of Commons Feb 2013


from Save Our Hospitals, Hammersmith

11th February 2013


At a crowded press conference in the House of Commons this morning, campaigners from all over London met to announce a “Week of Action” in defence of hospitals across the capital.  The meeting heard that, after months of campaigning to defend individual hospitals, a united effort was needed to defend health services from what appears to be a concerted attack by a government intent on both cutting money and privatizing services.


Responding to last week’s claim by Hammersmith and Fulham Council that Charing Cross Hospital had been “saved”, chair of Save our Hospitals, Carlo Nero told journalists:


“Charing Cross has NOT been saved – contrary to the council spin that some reports have carried. This is a pathetic offer, which hardly improves on the original NHS proposal. Campaigning and pressure have got us this far, and we need to redouble our efforts, now that we will be fighting without Council support. Everyone needs to come to our rally in Lyric Square in Hammersmith this Saturday, where we will show everybody that far from being a setback in our campaign this is a rallying cry which will simply make people all the more determined to Save our Hospitals.”


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An Urgent Message from the Chair


A message from Carlo Nero, Chair of Save our Hospitals

Dear Save Our Hospitals Supporter,
Yesterday I received a call from Marcus Ginn, Council cabinet member for Community Care, informing me the council would announce a deal they’ve made with NHS NW London at the JHOSC (Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee) meeting last night. They’re accepting Option ‘A’ but with a special deal for Charing Cross. They claim “a polyclinic would end up on the site otherwise”.  

The deal effectively means that Charing Cross will be transformed from being a “Major Hospital” into a “Specialist Health and Social Care Hospital”. This is an entirely new concept and was not part of the consultation: it appears to be some form of Urgent Care Centre or small, local hospital.

  • £90 million will allegedly be spent in creating a new Hospital with an area of 16,500ft²  and consisting of 60 beds, Diagnostics, Cancer Treatment, Sexual Health, Mental Health and Care for the Elderly.
  • There will be an “innovative” Out of Hospital Strategy so that people can return more quickly to their homes and a 24-Hour Urgent Care Centre. 
  • 70% of current volume will still go to Charing Cross while 30% will go to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital who plan to dramatically increase their A&E unit and remodel the hospital around it.

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poster for 16th Feb 2013