Public meeting on hospital downgrade plans

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 7.30 in Ealing Town Hall.  Invited speakers include Ealing Council leader, Councillor Julian Bell, Hammersmith and Fulham leader, Councillor Stephen Cowan, London Assembly Member and local GP, Dr Onkar Sahota, Health Watch as well as representatives from the NHS and from the Save Our NHS campaign.

The NHS published a £500million savings business case in December 2016 that shows blue-light ambulances, critical care and potentially all surgery removed from Ealing Hospital by 2022.  The NHS would then implement plans to downgrade Charing Cross to ‘local’ hospital status.

Ealing Council has opposed the NHS ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme of hospital reconfiguration since it was first announced in June 2012. Under the programme A&Es have already been closed at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospitals as well as maternity and children’s A&E services at Ealing Hospital.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “I know the people of Ealing have huge respect for NHS staff and the care they provide and we all want to see improved out-of-hospital and preventative care. 

“Axing two more A&Es in this area is a terrifying prospect. Our remaining A&Es are already creaking under the strain of increasing demand, so stripping out a further 500 acute beds is unsafe and must be stopped.  Moving A&Es further away from our residents makes no sense.  Ambulance response times for the most serious cases in Ealing, where life-saving treatment is needed, are already failing to meet the eight-minute response target.”

The NHS will shortly begin public engagement on the proposed changes to local health services, including those provided in hospitals as well as planned improvements to primary care.  Using the results of the independent inquiry led by Michael Mansfield QC and the views expressed by local people at the meeting in February, the council will provide its feedback on the proposals.

Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adult services and who will chair the meeting, said: “The loss of local health services will have a devastating impact for local people. I urge residents across the borough to come along to the meeting and make their views known.”

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 7.30pm, Victoria Hall, Ealing Town Hall, Uxbridge Road, Ealing W5 2BY.

2. Speak with friends and neighbours to make sure as many people as possible understand what is proposed.