Shock NHS Report Proposes Closure of Local A&Es

Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Ealing Hospital to cease emergency services

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Accident and Emergency services at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals could face the axe.

These drastic proposals are contained in the the publication of a report into health care in North West London.

The report, entitled "Shaping a Healthier Future" is recommending that Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals should no longer deal with emergency cases. This would mean local people travelling to either West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth or Chelsea and Westminster in Chelse - the two main A&E centres remaining in the West of London.

The recommendations come as a result of the local NHS needing to cut costs by around £1 billion over the next few years.

Under the proposals some hospitals will have 'super units' with a higher concentration of expertise with more consultants and larger teams. Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals are to be classified as local hospitals, with urgent care centres. Hammersmith would become a specialist centre.

Anne Rainsberry, chief executive for NHS NW London, said: "This isn't about cutting corners or getting away with the bare minimum. We want to change the way we deliver care so that outcomes are improved. More care should be delivered closer to home and, by also centralising some specialist hospital-based services, the NHS can ensure that people can benefit from receiving treatment at centres of best practice and excellence."

The local authorities in both Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing have pledged to fight the plan which is due to be put to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (PCT) on Monday for approval.

A public consultation will begin in July with a final decision on the proposed changes being made early in 2013.

June 22, 2012