Local people set to join march on Parliament next month
Public anger is continuing to grow over NHS plans to close Accident and Emergency departments at Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals.
Thousands of local residents have now signed petitions protesting the plans and many have voiced their opposition at street stalls held on the last two Saturdays in Lyric Square.
And at a consultation event held by the NHS on Saturday 28, hundreds of residents - including local MP Andrew Slaughter, councillors and community campaigners - expressed their anger and fears for the future.
Andy Slaughter says: " The roadshow was met with unanimous opposition from those that had attended – both appalled by the slanted consultation and lack of communication and of course by the proposals themselves.
" The clinicians that had been put up to front the proposals looked quite shocked at the strength of public reaction."
NHS representatives speaking at the meeting admitted that there are 320,400 attendances each year at the four A&E units that they are in favour of closing. They also said that they are relying on half of the 97,000 attendances currently at Charing Cross going to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital instead.
The NHS also appears to be claiming that 53,000 cases treated at Hammersmith will simply evaporate.
NHS bosses failed to answer a question from Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, about what the future of Charing Cross would be in five or ten years.
Afterwards, Cllr Botterill said: " These barmy and half baked plans are a recipe for disaster that will result in longer waiting times at local GP surgeries and the few remaining A&Es out of borough.
" What is now clear is that the NHS, while proposing to close four out of nine A&E’s across north west London, has no adequate alternative health care in place. "
As well as allowing journey times to remaining hospitals to reach potentially dangerous levels, the closures could almost double the workload at remaining A&E’s, according to Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
Meanwhile there are two separate campaigns against the proposals. A group which includes resident and Andy Slaughter has launched Save Hammersmith and Fulham Hospitals, with a website and future plans to join a march on Parliament in September 15.
The campaign also has its own twitter hashtag #SaveHFNHS and an independent petition which aims to get 10,000 signatures and is planning to offer advise on the NHS Consultation on the plans which it calls Shaping a Healthier Future.
The NHS Consultation lasts until October 8 and you can respond to the consultation online or request a full copy of the consultation document by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling freephone number 0800 881 5209 or writing to FREEPOST SHAPING A HEALTHIER FUTURE CONSULTATION (This must be written in capital letters and on one line. You will not need a stamp.)
A further consultation roadshow is also being held by the NHS on September 19 from 2pm till 8pm and Fulham Broadway Methodist Church, 452 Fulham Road.
August 1, 2012