The meeting will detail the NHS proposals to close blue light emergency services at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals.
Organised by the council, the meeting takes place at 7.30pm in Dominion Arts Centre, Southall. Invited speakers include Ealing Council leader, Councillor Julian Bell, Hammersmith and Fulham leader, Councillor Stephen Cowan and Ealing Save our NHS.
More than 14,000 people have signed the petition since it was launched.
Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals A&Es have already been closed, along with the closure of Ealing Hospital’s maternity and children’s A&E.
The NHS North West London’s ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme proposes that:
- A&Es to close at Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals with no blue light emergency care
- More than 500 hospital beds to be axed across the two sites.
This is likely to lead to:
- Increased travel times to get treatment
- Increased A&E waiting times, which, in north-west London, are already the worst in London and among the worst in the country.
Since the petition launch in August, there has been research and reports that support the Save our Hospitals petition including North West Healthcare Trust having the worst A&E waiting times in the country in September.
The trust, which runs Ealing Hospital, failed to hit its targets for A&Es in December. Just over 82% of patients who went to A&E were treated or admitted within the target time of four hours, below the England average of 85% with the current goal standing at 95%.
An independent report published in September 2017 by The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust cast serious doubts about the credibility of proposals to reform or close acute services in the capital including at Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals.
Adding to this, a survey led by independent market researcher BMG Research, asked 1,514 residents about NHS plans, with more than 90% against closing A&E departments and cutting 500 beds.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition already. Residents can be assured we’re trying our utmost to halt NHS plans and every signature counts.
“This public meeting is your last chance to have your voice heard and show decision makers that local residents do not accept the proposals to cut essential hospitals services. We know that the recent winter crisis has shown that despite heroic efforts on the part of NHS staff there were still vast shortages of beds and A&Es failed to cope with demands.
“We have continually warned that we would see extended lengthy waiting times and risk peoples’ lives.
“Accident and emergency departments have already closed at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex and now north-west London has some of the worst waiting times in the country. 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.
“I urge residents to join us on the 15th to show support for our hospitals”.
There is still time to sign the petition which is available online at www.sohpetition.co.uk.