Team mates "fully behind petition to keep units open"
A team of Premier League footballers from Fulham Football Club have joined the campaign to stop west London hospitals being downgraded.
FFC first team stars donned Save Charing Cross Hospital T-shirts during a training session this week to show their support for the campaign to prevent two A&E units closing in Hammersmith & Fulham.
Central defender and FFC Captain Brede Hangeland was joined by team mates – including Damien Duff, Mousa Dembele and John Arne Riise – just days before the new Premier League season gets going.
Brede said: " Fulham Football Club has been part of the local community for over a century, a period in which both Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals have served many people."
" I, along with all of my team mates, am fully behind the petition to keep the Accident and Emergency units at Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals open so that these two sites can continue to provide a vital service to residents in the borough."
FFC’s support comes as more than 7,000 local people have signed the council's petitions registering their protests against the NHS North West London proposals.
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has also launched a campaign called Safe in Our Hands against possible downgrading.
Plans to scrap the A&E departments at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals as well as the hyper acute stroke unit at Charing Cross were unveiled by hospital bosses in June.
H&F Council has been running a campaign against the proposals and has warned that local people will be left dangerously far away from emergency care out of borough, if the NHS plans go ahead.
Cllr Marcus Ginn, H&F Council Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: " It is wonderful to have the support of Fulham FC and their top-class footballers as their backing will help broaden the campaign and raise even more awareness about the threat facing local hospitals.
" Only last week the NHS bosses scored a telling own-goal when they admitted that they are getting increased funding from the Department of Health to spend on local hospitals. Given this fact, residents have a right to expect Premier League local hospitals – not ones that are relegated to second tier status."
The council is hosting a public scrutiny meeting on Tuesday September 18 at Hammersmith Town Hall from 7pm to question and challenge NHS bureaucrats about their plans.
This is followed by a consultation roadshow in Fulham held by the NHS the following day, September 19 from 2pm till 8pm at Fulham Broadway Methodist Church, 452 Fulham Road.
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, Shaping a Healthier Future 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.)
August 17, 2012