Campaigners aim to save Chiswick hospital

Petition organised to stop closure of Chiswick Lodge

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Hounslow Primary Care Trust are presenting their proposals for the hospital at the 22nd September Chiswick Area Committee meeting which takes place at Chiswick Town Hall at 7.30pm

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Campaigners have launched a petition to save Chiswick Lodge Hospital. The facility, which has been under threat of closure for several years, is now believed to be slated for sale by Hounslow Primary Care Trust. The site of the hospital which is adjacent to Chiswick Mall is likely to raise a substantial sum of money for the cash strapped trust. It is the third time that a petition has been launched to save the hospital.

The hospital was originally endowed by Dan Mason owner of Chiswick Polish the company that brought us Cherry Blossom. At one point the site became a maternity hospital and was the birth place of singer Kim Wilde and Pete Townshend of the Who. Sir Roger Bannister worked as a Doctor there.

More recently the hospital has become a centre for the care of the elderly catering for Alzheimer's patients. It also took in those with motor neurone disease both young and old.

Dan Mason purchased Rothbury House and erected the Hospital behind it. Over the course of time the facility was expanded with the entrance now in Netheravon Road South. Campaigners believe that the terms of the endowment would have precluded a sale of the site and are hopeful that documents will emerge to prove their point.

The site backs onto Chiswick Mall and if it came on the market would prove very attractive for property developers. Hounslow PCT currently has a large deficit and admitted recently that its financial situation may require it to breach its statutory duty and report a loss.

The Save Chiswick Lodge Hospital Action Group, 115 Airedale Avenue South London W4 2PX, are organising a petition. They want Hounslow PCT to keep the hospital as a health resource for elderly residents in the area. They say that they would like alternative proposals to be considered that would maintain a hospital at the site by funding it through selling only the Chiswick Mall frontage. They point out that as well as a generally ageing population nationally the three wards of Chiswick have a mean age which is the highest in the borough of Hounslow and that the shortage of provision is already chronic.
A report by the PCT states that there are 529 residential nursing care beds in Hounslow, including 38 in Chiswick which campaigners point out is 7% of the borough total. Chiswick resident's with elderly relatives with mental illnesses (EMI) have to travel as far as Twickenham and Hounslow Heath to visit them. One closely connected with this type of provision said there is a ‘crying need’ for EMI provision in the east of the borough. The campaign is proposing a purpose built 46 bed facility on the site funded by property sales.

A representative of the PCT told a recent meeting of London Borough of Hounslow Health and Scrutiny Panel that the funds raised from the sale could be used to reduce the Trust's £7.4 million deficit or support facilities in Bedfont or Heston.

A spokesperson for the campaign said, "At a time when the Hounslow PCT and the Hounslow Social Services should be planning for the health needs of an increasing number of elderly, frail people and their carers, it is

Hounslow PCT have not as yet responded to our request for comment on this issue.

September 15, 2004