Last week, the NHS published a £500million business case that sees blue-light ambulances, critical care and potentially all surgery removed from Ealing Hospital by 2022.
After Ealing is downgraded to a ‘local’ hospital, the NHS would then do the same to Charing Cross Hospital – helping it save £1.1billion over the next decade.
Ealing Council has been fervently opposed to hospital reconfiguration plans since they were first announced in June 2012. Under the NHS’ ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospitals’ A&Es have closed as has maternity and children’s A&E services at Ealing Hospital.
There is widespread public opposition to the plans and numerous protests and marches have taken place across West London.
Ealing Council has confirmed that it will hold a public meeting at Ealing Town Hall on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 7pm. Residents are invited to attend to find out more about what it means for local health services including those provided in hospitals as well as planned improvements to primary care. The council will then be responding to the NHS’ public engagement which is starting early in the new year.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “Despite huge local opposition the NHS is hell bent on carrying out the biggest reconfiguration experiment in its history and using the people of Ealing as its guinea pigs.
“While we want investment in improved out-of-hospital and preventative care, we cannot support the closure of A&Es and the downgrading of Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals. This plan signals the death knell for emergency services in Ealing. It would leave our borough, which has a population the same size as Cardiff, without an A&E. This is not safe.
“To add insult to injury we have also learnt that the investment in the remaining site is being cut with the existing hospital getting a ‘make do and mend’ refurbishment rather than the new hospital being promised.”
Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adult services, said: “I would urge as many people as possible to attend our public meeting in February.
“The NHS belongs to all of us and we need to defend vital local health services - once they have gone they will be lost forever.”
Last year Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham commissioned an independent inquiry led by Michael Mansfield QC that has provided a strong evidence base for why the proposals are wrong.
To find out more about the NHS plans and how you can get involved:
1. Come to the public meeting in Ealing Town Hall on Wednesday, 15 February at 7pm
2. Speak with friends and neighbours to make sure as many people as possible understand what is proposed.