Plans to close some of the Accident & Emergency units in North West London will move a step closer if the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts agrees to them at a meeting this evening. The NHS says it needs to save money to cover a deficit more than a £1bn.
Nine hospitals could be affected by the proposals but the preferred plan would see changes to Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex. They would lose their A&Es and be downgraded. Ealing and Charing Cross would become local hospitals, Central Middlesex Hospital would turn into a local and elective hospital and Hammersmith Hospital would become a specialist hospital.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has promised a battle to prevent changes at Charing Cross Hospital.
Cllr Marcus Ginn, cabinet member for community care at the council, criticised the committee that came up with the plan: "Over many months of questioning on this, NHS bureaucrats have failed to address concerns that this will leave thousands of residents dangerously distant from emergency care or to show that lives will not be put at risk by these closures. They have not taken account of the thousands on new homes being built in west London which will mean we need more local access to hospitals, not less."
However, if the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts decides to push ahead with the plan, it will go to a public consultation next month.