Save Our Hospitals Organise A&E Closure Day Demo

Campaigners accuse Imperial Trust of a "demolition job"

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(Hammersmith Hospital, whose A&E is due to close)

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On the day (Wednesday September 10) that Hammersmith Hospital A&E is scheduled to close for good, resident group Save Our Hospitals is organising yet another demonstration against cuts to West London health services.

The Save Our Hospitals campaign is urging concerned local residents to join protesters outside Hammersmith Hospital from 8:30 am or Central Middlesex Hospital, whose A&E department is due to close on the same day, from 10 in the morning.

Wednesday's protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations by Save Our Hospitals, including the dramatic 'Die-In' at the Lyric Square in Hammersmith held last Saturday, September 6.

Campaigners have expressed concerns that the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which is presiding over the closures, has not provided sufficient accommodation for the 22,000 patients who currently pass through the doors of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&Es each year.

In the context of population growth in the surrounding area, with 30,000 new flats scheduled to be built within half a mile of Hammersmith Hospital, and of downsizing at nearby Charing Cross and St. Mary's Paddington Hospitals, Save Our Hospitals has labelled the Imperial Trust's plans as "incomprehensible" and a "demolition job". The people of West London, the group claims in its latest leaflet, are being used as "guinea pigs" in the "biggest reorganisation in the history of the NHS".

Save Our Hospitals has also made objections to the £300,000 paid by the Imperial Health Trust to PR companies, including over £50,000 to M&C Saatchi to present the new plans to the public.

In a statement released in August by Imperial College Healthcare, which owns the Trust, the company argued that their plans were not about "cutting back on NHS care" but rather "providing care differently so that you get the right care in the right place at the right time." It has stressed that revenues from land sales will be re-invested in improving services.

Imperial has further added that to compensate for the closure of Hammersmith A&E, the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at the hospital would now be open "all day, every day". However, Save Our Hospitals has replied that the expanded UCC would be GP rather than consultant-led, and insufficient to cater for patient needs.


September 5, 2014