Council Publishes Formal Response as NHS Consultation Ends
Says proposals to close A&E services are "unsafe"
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has published its formal response to the NHS Consultation on its plans for local hospitals, which closed on Monday night.
The council's response condemns the NHS proposals, which include closing A&E services at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals, plus Charing Cross' hyper-acute stroke unit, as "unsafe".
The council’s official response to the Shaping a healthier future consultation states: " The council considers that there are several key flaws in the proposals. The proposals are consequently seen as unsafe from the council’s perspective."
" Decisions on hospital service closures are being made with no guarantee that alternative community services will be able to cope.
A petition organised by the campaign has gathered 60,000 signatures, and a separate petition provided by the council has gathered 22,000 signatures.
The Shaping a Healthier Future consultation has been strongly criticised by a number of parties, including Hammersmith and Fulham Labour council Stephen Cowan, who called it a "one-side sales pitch" and H & F Council, who argue that the questions it contains could lead respondents into answers they may not want to give.
NHS North West London put forward three options for how hospital services could change, but all of these options involve closing one of the three local A &E departments.
The consultation has also been condemned by Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter as an attempt to "divide and rule", by pitting hospitals against each other, with the result that Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been asking residents to vote for Option A in the consultation, which means closing the A &E at Charing Cross.
Describing this news as "unbelievable" he says he has written to the Chair of Chelsea and Westminster asking for this to be stopped immediately.
The march on Saturday followed two local meetings where hundreds of local people quizzed representatives of NHS North West London about the plans. You see see a video of one of these public meetings at Hammersmith Town Hall here.
Save Our Hospitals is run by a group of local people along with MP Andy Slaughter. You can find out more about its activities including this week's march at is website and follow it on twitter, hashtag #Saveourhospitals.
Find out more about the campaign at Save Our Hospitals.
October 9, 2012