The Mail on Sunday [12 May] revealed the consequences of closing A&E's. In a case study based on the closure of an A&E in Newark Nottinghamshire, the evidence revealed that the death rate amongst emergency patients rose by 37 percent.
Professor Simon Shorvon, a neurologist from University College London and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery said “As a doctor living in West London, I am appalled by the decision to close all four of our local A&E's. It will leave a huge swathe of residents far from a local casualty.
“Time matters in an emergency situation and being stuck in an ambulance after a coronary or stroke or life threatening accident, in a traffic jam on the A4 or A40 trying to reach the remaining casualties will play havoc with survival and recovery rates.
“This is a disgraceful decision, made with no regard to the health and safety of the local population, and with no medical justification.
“A major priority for the NHS should be the adequate provision of emergency care and this is being ignored. Those in charge of the health provision to West London should be ashamed”
The Mail on Sunday article has been sent to the Leader of H&F council and to the Health Scrutiny Committee so that they are fully aware of the consequences of agreeing to the demolishing of Charing Cross Hospital and the closure of our A&E's.
To: Councillor Lucy Ivimy,
LBHF Health and Scrutiny Committee Chair
Hammersmith Town Hall, Kings Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9JU
CC Attn: Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health
Richmond House 79 Whitehall London SW1A 2 NS
Dear Cllr Ivimy,
I am writing to object to the decisions made about our hospitals in LBHF and the use of my taxpayers’ money on misleading leaflets about saving Charing Cross. This is a betrayal. This major teaching hospital is to be demolished, not saved. We did not even know the hospital was under threat of closure until we received the leaflets saying it was SAVED. This was after NW London NHS made its decisions.
Demolishing Charing Cross Hospital and replacing it with a specialist out patients’ clinic is not saving a hospital. The Council did nothing to support its electorates’ needs for inpatient specialist hospital care in the Borough and refused the right of appeal. They agreed that LBHF residents should travel out of borough. Hammersmith and Fulham is to lose the best hospital in West London and be left without any A&Es.
We are not fools. The Council failed in its duty to inform its electorate of the threat as demonstrated below. These are major changes to our hospitals and local healthcare that will affect us and the Council failed in its responsibility.
I have ticked the following reasons relevant to me that highlight the role of LBHF and NW London NHS and added my personal comments
____ I only learned about the proposed changes from the Save our Hospitals
____ I saw no information anywhere in the hospital about the proposed changes.
_____ I was given no information about changes that would affect me in my doctor’s
surgery / clinic.
_____ I was given the impression A&Es were under threat but not hospitals.
______ I never received information from the Council about the threats to
Charing Cross until after the decisions were made to replace it with the
The full comprehensive health needs of residents of LBHF and patients have been dismissed as inconsequential with this substitute. The 85% outpatients claimed will be treated at the 'new proposed' polyclinic is only half the story. It assumes patients will only ever need outpatients.
Cancer patients receive their chemo and radiology at Charing Cross specialist clinic but have to go to St Mary's for their surgery and scans. There will be no continuity of care for vulnerable patients who need both outpatients and inpatient care in Hammersmith and Fulham. We will have to travel out of borough far from the support network of family and friends for longer term inpatient treatment.
Patients with mobility problems, e.g. Orthopaedics / Neurology / Cancer surgery, are faced with having to decide not to continue with their treatment because travelling is too daunting. St Mary’s is a warren, inaccessible and hazardous for mobility patients. The 500 beds in CXH deal with the reality of their very genuine overall needs and meet them well. Sometimes they need day beds
The claimed £90 million the Council suggest is to be invested in Chairing Cross should NOT be spent on demolishing the hospital and its residences for medical staff and nurses to build a mock ‘replacement’. This is taxpayers' money. The hospital should be renovated, restored and maintained properly as it should have been.
Charing Cross is a major teaching hospital, a purpose built, perfect site for learning and both impatient and inpatient treatment. It has been a major source of doctors and consultants over the years with highly respected, well-established teams of medical excellence. It should continue to provide this expertise in future, but these are at risk of being lost as they are instead of being valued are being dismantled. The downgraded hospital will not be able to function fully as a teaching hospital without the full inpatient - outpatient continuity of care. With the loss of A&E, essential for learning emergency diagnosis and treatment, that would be impossible.
We cannot accept the loss of Charing Cross. It means….
• No A&Es in Hammersmith and Fulham, putting our lives at risk.
• No major acute hospital for millions people in an inner city borough, with a population the size of Sheffield and increasing rapidly.
• Loss of a purpose built hospital of perfect design for accessibility and treatment
• Loss of the only hospital in London with good public transport for patients with mobility problems for A&E and on-going inpatient specialist treatment in West London.
• Loss of the only readily available air ambulance access in West London
• A&E and specialist treatment to be moved to inaccessible hospitals, out of borough
• Loss of one of the most world renowned major acute medical schools
The Council, NW London NHS and the Government have ignored patients’ key needs
We need both Charing Cross and Chelsea Westminster Hospitals under one management, both as acute specialist inpatient hospital sites, but one hospital. Each site complementing the other in their specialties in our two very heavily populated inner city boroughs. It would have be an unsurpassable Centre of excellence, as already noted by the Kings Fund.
As residents and patients in Hammersmith and Fulham, we believe we matter. It’s time the Council and NW London NHS listened to our concerns. I would appreciate a reply.
Name & Address:
A packed Jubilee Room in the House of Commons Last week heard campaigners from all over London tell press why they believed London-wide action was needed to save A&Es across London. Other services were also threatened, said representatives of the Lewisham and Whittington Hospitals campaigns.
12th February 2013
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.
Chair – Save Our Hospitals – Hammersmith and Charing Cross campaign
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.”
Charing Cross Hospital
Statement by the
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 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.