Saturday, 20 February 2016

Public meeting date set to discuss fears of Charing Cross services cuts

It comes as H&F leader Stephen Cowan reveals he is still waiting for a reply to his letter sent to the Health Secretary last month.

There is concern over the services provided at Charing Cross Hospital

A public meeting to debate the future of NHS services at Charing Cross Hospital will be held next week.
It has been arranged by Hammersmith and Fulham Council and takes place on February 23.
It comes as the Labour leader Stephen Cowan called for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to “end his silence” on Michael Mansfield QC’s report into the controversial Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF) programme.
Among those present at this month’s meeting at Hammersmith Town hall will be Dr Stephen Hirst, a former local GP, and Dr John Lister of London Health Emergency.
Both men sat on the Mr Mansfield’s Independent Healthcare Commission which was formed by H&F Council and the neighbouring boroughs of Ealing , Brent, Hounslow and Harrow to review the proposed changes to the running of the NHS.
It concluded that SaHF, which has resulted in the closure of A&Es in Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals , and the shutting down of the maternity unit at Ealing Hospital , should be halted immediately, and described NHS North West London’s plans as ‘deeply flawed’.
A protest against the closure of Ealing Hospital's maternity unit was not enough to keep it open

The council fears blue light A&E services at Charing Cross will be axed as part of plans, despite SaHF insisting that though this was once on the cards, an A&E will remain at the Fulham Palace Road hospital.
Cllr Cowan also pointed to new figures showing a rise in A&E waiting times and said: “Michael Mansfield’s public inquiry painted a worrying picture of the threats posed to health services in our borough. This new NHS report shows that the situation is actually worse than we thought.
“The number of people using Charing Cross A&E continues to soar, with ambulance crews increasingly choosing to bring patients to Charing Cross in emergencies, while strains on other emergency and Urgent Care units are also increasing.
“In this pressure-cooker environment, it would be extraordinary to close the A&E at Charing Cross when it is more in demand than ever.
He and the leaders of the four other councils that commissioned Mr Mansfield’s reportwrote to Mr Hunt in January urging a meeting .
Mr Cowan continued: “The Secretary of State has now had a month to respond to the letter sent by four London council leaders and me seeking solutions to these terrible problems. The 1.5million West Londoners we represent will be baffled by Jeremy Hunt’s silence.”
The Department of Health confirmed the leaders’ letter had been received and that a response will be sent in due course.
The meeting takes place at the town hall’s Small Hall and begins at 7.30pm.


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