Campaigners meet on Thursday to plan public fight back
A public meeting is being held at Rivercourt Methodist Church in King Street, Hammersmith on Thursday, 28th June from 6pm - 7.30pm, where residents will plan the campaign against the closure of A&E services at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospital.
The meeting comes as plans to close four Accident & Emergency (A&E) units in North West London, including those at Charing Cross and Hammersmith, moved a step closer with the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts agreeing to formally propose closing them at a meetingin Westminster Central Hall on Monday.
The NHS proposals include downgrading Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals from "major" centres, with a wide range of clinical specialisms, to "local" hospitals.
Charing Cross and Hammersmith would both lose their A&Es under the NHS preferred option and the hyper-acute stroke unit at Charing Cross would also go. The NHS consultation begins in July.
Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, who has organised the meeting says: " I have called a public meeting this Thursday to explain what is happening to our local health service as we begin the campaign against the closure of these vital facilities."
You can read a full statement from Andy Slaughter here.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has also vowed to fight the plans 'tooth and nail' and Cllr Marcus Ginn, H&F Cabinet Member for Community Services, has called on the community to unite against the threat.
Cllr Ginn says: "Once again the residents of H&F are facing a huge threat to local hospital services. We are faced with losing not just one A&E, but both our A&Es at Hammersmith and Charing Cross. The NHS bureaucrats who are about to launch a consultation on these proposals have failed to realise the devastating impact this would have on journey times in what is the second most congested borough in London.
"They have also failed to take into account the thousands of new homes that are being built in west London - we need more access to hospitals, not less.
"If these proposals go ahead we will lose decades of clinical expertise and skills built up at Charing Cross. H&F Council will not stand idly by and allow this to happen.
"Yet, if we are to be successful, we need to be united. Therefore I am calling on everybody and anybody who has an interest in retaining frontline hospital services in H&F to join the council in a single campaign to protect local hospital services at Charing Cross and Hammersmith. The bigger our voice the more likely we are to be heard. The community has fought off similar proposals before and we will do so again."
Dozens of people have already turned up to a protest outside Charing Cross hospital and thousands have already signed one of the two council petitions against the closure plans, at Save Hammersmith and Save Charing Cross.
There is also a separate independent online petition which already has over 1,600 signatures. You can add your name here.