Hunt agrees to refer A&E closures to independent panel
The plans to close A&E units at four London hospitals will be referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel for more detailed assessment and review.
The proposed closure of Charing Cross Hospital along with the closures of Hammersmith, Ealing and Central Middlesex A&E provision following a limited period of consultation has been challenged both in the Commons and by EalingCouncil.
Andy Slaughter MP, put the request to Jeremy Hunt in the Commons this afternoon and although Hammersmith and Fulham Council were in support of these closures,Mr Hunt immediately replied that he would refer the plans to the IRP if Ealing Council were in support.
The leaks and rumours have been confirmed today - health bosses have approved the closure of four accident and emergency units in north-west London.
Hammersmith, Charing Cross, Central Middlesex and Ealing hospitals will all see their services downgraded. Campaigners say that will put lives at risk - but the NHS insists it will actually improve patient care.
A decision will be made later on plans to close four A&E units in north-west London. The units in Charing Cross, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Ealing Hospitals could be downgraded to urgent care centres.
That would mean patients requiring accident and emergency care would need to travel to units at Hillingdon, Northwick Park, West Middlesex, the Chelsea and Westminster or St Mary's in Paddington.
NHS North West London claims the move would save money and improve care - however campaign groups say A&E facilities shouldn't be taken away from local communities.