Local MP Blocked from Entering Imperial NHS Trust Meeting

As board rubberstamps plans to sell off hospital sites

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Video of public meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall

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Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter says he was refused entry to this morning's meeting of the Board of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

At 11.30am, the MP tweeted on his account @hammersmithandy: " Blocked by 4 security guards from 'public meeting' on local A&E closures. Only let me in when I went live on @LBC."

This was followed at midday by a second tweet saying: " As predicted Board has rubber stamped Hunt's hospital closure programme. Questions like - how will we spend all the money we get from sales?"

The MP was joined at the meeting at Hammersmith Hospital by Save Our Hospitals campaigners, fighting the "Shaping a Healthier Future" programme which includes:

Demolition of the current hospital at Charing Cross, with 55% of the site sold off to developers, replaced by a £150 million development on the remainder.

Inpatient beds at Charing Cross reduced from 360 to just 24.

A&E and acute surgery moved to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington with the new building at Charing Cross providing ‘an emergency service appropriate for a local hospital’.

Meanwhile St Mary's itself, while retaining its A&E department will also be reduced in size, with 45% of its site to be sold, and the Western Eye Hospital in Marylebone Road will also be put up for sale with a proposed price tag of £270 million.

The closure of A&E departments at Hammersmith Hospital In Shepherd's Bush and Central Middlesex Hospital A&E in Park Royal are also going ahead on September 10, with Imperial hiring top advertising agency M&C Saatchi to inform the public of what it calls a "change" to services, for a reported free of £55,000.

This morning's incident comes after a war of words broke out between Andy Slaughter and the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

He called the plans "the biggest hospital closure programme in history" and said: " Now we have the final proposals and they are worse than we have been led to believe. Charing Cross will close as a major hospital. It will be reduced to a primary care centre with some day surgery and treatment services.

"This is simply unacceptable to many West Londoners and we are going to keep fighting to save Charing Cross which has been a landmark London hospital for almost 200 years."

You can read his full response here.

Following this statement, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's chief executive Dr Tracey Batten fired back saying:
" A draft strategy setting out how we want to develop our services to meet changing health needs will be presented to the Trust board on 30 July. The draft clinical strategy was posted on the Trust website on Thursday along with other board papers.

" A foreword to the draft clinical strategy, signed by myself and the Trust’s most senior medical and nursing leads, makes clear that the status quo is not an option if the trust is to respond to changing health needs and continue to provide high quality care."

You can read this signed foreward here.

July 29, 2014