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19th February 2013



Press Release  -  for immediate use








Today the NHS North West London is deciding to close A&E departments at Charing Cross, Hammersmith,Central Middlesex and Ealing Hospitals.

The decisions, to be rubber stamped at 4.30pm today, by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts are identical to the preferred option set out in their proposals published last June. 2 million west London residents are affected by the closuresand 100,000 have already signed petitions opposing the closures. 


Today’s decisions would mean:

·         A&E departments at Hammersmith, Charing Cross, Central Middlesex and Ealing Hospitals will close.

·         Charing Cross Hospital will be demolished and most of the site sold for private development. NHS use of the site will be 3% of current levels. All 500 beds at Charing Cross will go and all acute services will be lost.

·         Hammersmith Hospital will remain a specialist hospital but with no A&E. 

·         After the A&E closures there will only be an ‘urgent care centre’ (UCC) remaining at each of the four hospitals.  UCCs are described in the papers for today’s meeting as ‘staffed by at least one GP at all times’ and ‘able to treat minor injuries (including minor fractures) in addition to minor illnesses’

·         Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is considering also closing the UCC at Hammersmith Hospital and moving it to elsewhere.

·         A late recommendation suggests Hammersmith & Fulham CCG could look at retaining some community and treatment services on the Charing Cross site. This is subject to a further six-month review, would lead to a maximum 13% use of the site compared to current activity and would include no acute services.  

·         All blue light emergencies would be diverted to other hospitals, which are already at capacity and exceed waiting time targets for A&E.

·         There will be no A&E in the London boroughs of Hammersmith, Ealing or Brent, which together have a population the size of Leeds.


Followingtoday’s decision Ealing Council intends to refer the closures to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, for review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. They also intend to launch judicial review proceedings. Hammersmith & Fulham Council has betrayed its residents by withdrawing supportfor the hospitals and falsely claiming that Charing Cross Hospital has been ‘saved’.






 This Press release is produced by HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM SAVE OUR HOSPITALS, an independent residents’ campaign fighting to keep A&E and other health services across west London. www.saveourhospitals.net  


Comments from campaigners and clinicians:


‘The world class hospital that we have had on our doorstep for decades will disappear, and instead we will have a glorified clinic.’

Carlo Nero, Chair, Save our Hospitals

 ‘Now we know the truth. Charing Cross will be closed and replaced by a community care clinic with no A&E, no intensive care unit, and no acute stroke services. This is a poor deal that potentially puts residents’ lives at risk. The Council should be ashamed of itself.’

 Mark Honigsbaum, medical journalist, author and spokesperson,Save our Hospitals

‘This is a sleazy deal between Hammersmith & Fulham Council and local NHS to close both the borough’s A&E departments.  Imperial Healthcare and Hammersmith & Fulham Council should be ashamed they are supporting closures at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals.  They are putting political and commercial interests above residents’ health.

Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith and Secretary, Save our Hospitals

‘I know from personal experience that our A&Es provide an excellent service. It would be a tragedy if Hammersmith and Charing Cross lost their A&Es. The campaign to keep them open has my full backing.  The ‘saving’ of  Charing X Hospital  is not what it seems - 500 beds to 60? A major hospital shrunk to a shadow of itself? We need to defend our National Health Service in west London and across the whole country.

Bill Bailey, Comedian and Hammersmith Resident

Cutting hundreds of acute beds and services at Charing Cross and Hammersmith now is irresponsible.  I have been working to help develop out of hospital care for 20 years. To be successful it needs to be carefully planned, piloted and adequately funded. These proposals fail all these criteria.They seem to be driven by financial not clinical considerations and may put vulnerable people at risk.
Anne Drinkell retired community matron


Urgent Care Centres work best located next to an A&E department.  It is safer for patients and puts less pressure on 999 ambulances.  The two services can complement each other: one treating minor injuries and illnesses, the other those with more serious problems

Kam Datta, Nurse Practitioner