Thursday, 6 April 2017

Charing Cross Hospital: Council hits back at health bosses' formal complaint over 'closure' letter

Hammersmith and Fulham leader Stephen Cowan said the rebuke from NHS and CCG bosses was a bid to 'shut down the Charing Cross Hospital conversation'


Charing Cross Hospital, in Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith


The formal complaint made by NHS bosses against Hammersmith and Fulham Council is “the latest in a long line of attempts to hide the truth about their Charing Cross Hospital closure plans”, it has been claimed.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the clinical care group (CCG) commission accused the local authority and its leader Stephen Cowan of making “inaccurate and misleading information” over the hospital’s future.
The trust and CCG insisted there are no plans to close Charing Cross or reduce its A&E capacity, and that the hospital is benefiting from a £2.5 million investment in urgent and emergency care services and theatres.
Cllr Cowan hit back, saying health bosses are “trying to shut down the conversation”.
Dr Tracey Batten, from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital in Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, and Clare Parker, the chief officer of the North West London collaboration of (CCG) spoke out after letters were sent to council residents informing them that “NHS bosses have re-launched plans to close Charing Cross” as part of the north west London sustainability and transformation plan (STP) .
Dr Batten and Ms Parker said the letter was “likely to cause significant, unnecessary distress to patients and staff” and demanded Cllr Cowan publicly retracts them.


Cllr Stephen Cowan: 'The facts are perfectly clear to us'

In response, Cllr Cowan said: “This complaint from local health bosses is the latest in a long line of attempts to hide the truth about their closure plans – and frighten those people who oppose them.
“It follows their appointment of costly spin-doctors M&C Saatchi, their failure to publish a business case for Charing Cross, their deeply flawed public consultation and their repeated failure to answer questions on the long term future of Charing Cross Hospital.
“The facts are perfectly clear to us – North West London NHS published plans in 2013 to axe services at Charing Cross . Their letter of complaint reiterates that it’s still their intention to implement these plans.
“H&F Council has opposed these plans, and is proud to work with dedicated local residents to fight them.
“Recently published figures show growing waiting times and a spike in admissions at Charing Cross . Instead of trying to shut down debate, local health bosses should be focusing on helping their hard-pressed staff deal with these huge challenges.”​

The letter sent out to Hammersmith and Fulham denizens by council leader Stephen Cowan
He was speaking after new figures showed the A&E department at Charing Cross saw almost 500 more patients in February than it did in the same month two years ago.
There were 3,289 people seen by the department during the month – an increase of 493 on February 2015.
Dr Batten and Ms Parker had previously told Cllr Cowan: “As you will be fully aware, there have never been any plans to close Charing Cross Hospital.
“You will also know that, far from ‘re-launching’ proposals for changes at Charing Cross, the North West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) made a clear commitment that there will be no reduction in Charing Cross’s A&E department or wider services within the lifetime of the plan (that runs until April 2021).


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