Sunday, 3 April 2016


At the H&F Council’s Health Scrutiny meeting on 14th March, local NHS bosses were still unable to tell councillors and campaigners just how many beds there will be at Charing Cross – but they are still determined to close it as a major acute hospital.

There was a comic moment when Dr Tim Spicer, Chair of H&F CCG, having been asked how many beds there would be in any new CX hospital, replied that it depended on what was meant by ‘bed’ as there are many different ways of looking at beds…
What they seem to saying is that Charing Cross will essentially be a REHABILITATION CENTRE FOR OLDER PEOPLE. They still refuse to respond to questions about what sort of A&E there will be, given that there will be no acute beds or services at the hospital. Ironic, then, that the CEO for Imperial College NHS Trust, Tracy Batten, admitted that there has been a 13.5% INCREASE in A&E attendances at CX. Hardly a situation in which to close more A&Es in NW London.

Indeed, Imperial admitted that they were very challenged for available acute beds and couldn’t see the situation improving throughout 2017.

Not only Labour but Tory councillors expressed their scepticism, shock and anger at the refusal of health bosses to review the now discredited Shaping a Healthier Future. Even now we still don’t have an implementation business plan! Local health campaigners and members of the public were also shocked but not surprised.

'NO SAFE PROVISION FOR ACUTELY ILL CHILDREN IN EALING’, says Dr Tony O’Sullivan, paediatrics consultant, Lewisham

SOH joined Ealing Campaigners last weekend to protest about the planned closure of the Charlie Chaplin (paediatric) ward at Ealing Hospital at the end of June – yet another bit of the destruction that SaHF is wreaking on our local health services. Acutely ill children who arrive at the Urgent Care Centre in parents’ arms will have to be triaged and sent elsewhere for treatment causing additional delay before receiving urgent treatment.

Glorious Gloria of SOH supporting Ealing campaign


SOH and other local people continue to join junior doctors on their picket lines. Their struggle is our struggle. Here are 5 reasons to support the junior doctors: 

The government has misrepresented data and continues to lie about the 7-day NHS – a 24/7 emergency service already exists! 

The safeguards build into this new contract are inadequate – our lives will be put at risk by overworked and tired doctors. 

The government is not being truthful when they say doctors will get a pay rise of 13.5% - most doctors will lose between 10-20% when unsocial hours payments are being reduced. 

The gaps in the rotas for doctors and nurses are reaching dangerous levels because the government is not employing more staff. 

Striking junior doctors are defending a high quality NHS. 

Join us on the picket lines at your local hospital on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th April, from 8.00am. And remember, junior doctors are continuing to provide emergency cover.
SOH attended the rally opposite the House of Commons on March 11th in support of the NHS Reinstatement Bill being presented by Caroline Lucas, MP. Sadly, the presentation of the bill was delayed by the filibustering tactics of some Tory MPs. But there was good media coverage and campaigners across the country are determined that legislation to get rid of marketisation and privatisation will remain on campaign agenda (see the link for more details:
Mansfield commissioner, Dr John Lister, with milliner campaigner and her hat
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