Residents of Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea now have less than a month to add their voices to the campaign against plans to close accident and emergency services in both boroughs. So far only 1,300 submissions have been made to the NHS consultation which considers the future of the Accident & Emergency departments at both Charing Cross and Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals. However, several thousand residents have signed petitions against the proposals, showing a clear concern amongst residents of the damaging effects on local healthcare these changes could have.
The plans, put forward by bureaucrats in the soon to be abolished North West London NHS Trust, suggest the closure of four A&E departments across London from Uxbridge to Westminster, at a time when population growth is already putting London hospitals under strain and could mean more ambulance journeys along already busy arterial routes to reach the A&E units which remain.
Chelsea and Fulham M.P. Greg Hands said “I will fight this very hard. It is clear to me that A&E services at both Charing Cross and Chelsea & Westminster can, and must, survive.
It is vitally important that residents respond to this consultation and show members of the NHS Trust hierarchy the strength of local opposition and concern towards these plans. Time is running out, and the time to respond is now’’
Greg added: “I met with the top management of Chelsea & Westminster this week, and made clear to them my view that none of the three preferred options would be optimal for Chelsea & Westminster. Even a decision to remove A&E services from Charing Cross would likely have an adverse impact on Chelsea & Westminster, which would, in my view, struggle to cope with the big increase in A&E admissions there which would result. The best option for my constituents is for the whole, flawed process to be ended and thought through afresh. The NHS needs to make a much stronger argument for change.”
Public consultation: Click here to take part in the NHS consultation - closes October 8, 2012.