Monday, 1 June 2015

Fulham GP backs council call to save A and E at Charing Cross Hospital



A long-serving Fulham GP has backed Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s calls to save the A&E unit at Charing Cross Hospital.
Dr Mike Evans was one of many local residents and health professional who contacted the council this week to share concerns with the NHS plans. He said: “I have been a GP in Fulham from 1987 to 2015 and have a pretty good knowledge of what is needed in terms of local medical services. The [planned] downgrade of Charing Cross and the rebuild of a token small medical service to try and keep people happy is nothing short of a dangerous disgrace.
“I have known so many instances of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital being totally unable to cope with emergencies and in admitting patients. So to lop off a large hospital like Charing Cross is madness. I’m disgusted.”
This was echoed by Geoffrey Castle, who wrote: “Whoever thinks that closing Charing Cross hospital A&E is a good idea must be totally bonkers! The cost of building a new ‘fit for purpose’ hospital facility to replace the current one would greatly outweigh any short term financial benefit gained by selling off the land.”
The council received the comments after publicising the grilling of health bosses at the final public hearing of the North West London Healthcare Commission – an independent coalition of Harrow, Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow councils examining the NHS’s controversial Shaping a Healthier Future programme.
These plans would replace Charing Cross’ A&E with an urgent care clinic and dramatically reduce other services at the hospital, with much of the existing site sold off. The plans have already seen the closure of the A&E at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals last year despite protests by the council and residents. Since then, remaining local hospitals have regularly missed targets for waiting times.
Another comment came from Louis Joshua Manson, who recounted a tale of his 90-year-old friend needing treatment for a gash on her leg. After his friend was told they were facing a three-hour wait at Chelsea & Westminster, he wrote: “Closing Charing Cross’s A&E will make the situation at C&W even worse and should be rigorously opposed.”
And Ron Williams wrote: “I had to go to St Mary’s Hospital [recently] – the place is old dirty and every department is all over the place. You have to go miles round if you are disabled because of stairs everywhere. This hospital is not a touch on Charing Cross Hospital and the move is down-right ridiculous.” 
Meanwhile, Charing Cross Hospital employee Valerie Falzon shared her experience as a theatre nurse by writing: “We are always busy, overworked and understaffed.”

One of the council’s main concerns about the NHS plans to centralise services in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington is that hospital bosses have not factored in the expected boom in population in Hammersmith & Fulham. In Old Oak alone, the population is expected to swell by 70,000 new residents due to development plans on the northern edge of the borough.
Residents share these concerns, with Prue Angus writing: “Please do not close Charing Cross Hospital. St Mary's cannot cope with the number of patients now. It will be a nightmare with the influx of many more people in the future.” While Maggie Hodd added: “Building hundreds, if not thousands, of new homes plus closing A&E units at hospitals equals disaster.”
And worried about whether St Mary’s could cope with the increase in patient numbers, Sally James said: “It is common knowledge that the A&E performance at Charing Cross in the past has been infinitely superior to that of St Mary's in Paddington. It is ludicrous to make any structural changes to this service. No one in the area wants change - we thoroughly object to it.”
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Charing Cross Hospital, says that it is planning a £150million redevelopment of the site, with a ‘wide range of specialist, planned care and an emergency centre’. However, they admit that the number of in-patient beds will drop from 360 to just 24, while the number of day-case beds will rise from 41 to 86.
The North West London Healthcare Commission’s final report is expected to be published this summer.


To watch all of the Commission’s public hearings, visit:https://www.youtube.com/user/hammersmithandfulham


» Send us your comments now
We need this hospital it is vital for the community . The population is getting older . The Chelsea& Westminster Hospital is under extreme pressure now. How will it cope with the extra patients and services that it will have ? 
They are looking to sell off the land at the expense of the needs of the sick and the needs of the community
From Sheena on 29/05/2015 at 18:09
I understand that a key problem has been the complete ineptitude of the Imperial College Health Trust in properly administrating their finances. No doubt they, like many other misguided authorities, have relied on hugely expensive agency personnel to fill healthcare gaps that should be properly filled with experienced, salaried individuals. It reflects the short term thinking that tends to dominate our professions these days. Greed over Vocation is now the guiding principle behind many of our public services. That such an excellent hospital as this one should be demolished in favour of new development which is doubtless aimed at wealthy foreign investors is utterly mindless, and will no doubt bode extremely ill for the future of the growing Hammersmith community.
From Gaunt on 29/05/2015 at 15:07
wish the best for our Hammersmith & Fulham and support the GP and to save our Charing Cross Hospital
From BASSIMA on 28/05/2015 at 23:28
This is Neanderthal thinking. We need fewer hospitals, more walk-in urgent care centres and more GPs willing to drive their Volvos to people''s homes (which closing ChX would easily pay for). We often criticise USA health care, but watch "RxFilm The Quiet Revolution" to see how care can be more patient centred than doctor centred.
From Greg Parston on 28/05/2015 at 21:26
The population is living longer so its natural we need more hospitals not less.
From Paul scott on 28/05/2015 at 18:27
I totally agree with these comments, it is madness to think of closing Charing Cross, quite recently refurbished & serving the community - me included - with the essential medical services we all need.
From alison on 28/05/2015 at 16:27
I totally agree with these comments, it is madness to think of closing Charing Cross, quite recently refurbished & serving the community - me included - with the essential medical services we all need.
From alison on 28/05/2015 at 16:26
However you voted , surely common sense must sway those in power to see that the amount of development going on in what is basically a building site in Hammersmith will undoubtedly in time, increase the population (according to estimates) by 70,000 , an elderly population.or passing traffic who will all be forced to clog up the roads between here and Chelsea or St.Marys-
IF THEY CAN GET THERE- when an emergency occurs. I have had cause to use the A&E at CharingX in the past . They are brilliant, thorough and importantly : LOCAL Figures show A&E''s elsewhere are being clogged as a result of where we are at now with this vital service being deconstructed.I always try and see both sides of an argument; but I really, really don''t see how anyone can argue for taking this basic need away from vulnerable people living and working in this Borough. 
I am probably like many who nod in agreement about how terrible it is -but never DO anything about it.Now I am happy - and angry enough- with whoever wants to argue against NOT keeping this (literally) LIFELINE , open , to add my voice to say "Not on my watch" 
From lubav55 on 28/05/2015 at 16:13
I dont imagine for one second that my comments will see the light of day, for it does not suit the narrative . The launguage being emoployed to disucss this issue is emotive and inflammatory rather than provocative and interesting. The comments of employees in the health sevice is of limted interest to me as I am franklkly fed up with people in the NHS constanstly telling us how over worked and udnerstaffed they are - I trained in the NHS and there will be without doubt examples of extreme pressure and hard work - the honest NHS employees will tell you this is not always the case and when it is - hello ! welcome to the world that pays the taxes the funds our NHS !
From John Renz on 28/05/2015 at 15:43

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