Only 68.9% of people attending the major A&E departments run by Imperial College Healthcare Trust (Charing Cross and St Mary’s) were seen within four hours – meaning almost one in three people waited more than four hours, one of the worst performances in the country. The target is 95%.
But this week it was confirmed that the Government is looking to cut 500 beds from across North West London, including over 300 from Charing Cross, more than 90% of the total.
This is part of the ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ plans we have been fighting for almost four years now, whereby Charing Cross is demolished, and most of the site sold, to be replaced by an urgent care centre, primary and community health services.
Although demolition is still the Government’s preferred option the plans have been put back to at least 2020. It is also now a real possibility that the Treasury will not fund the redevelopment of the site, meaning there will be a double whammy of reduced services but with no investment in new buildings.
With Imperial running a current deficit of £50 million and today’s disastrous figures, it is increasingly obvious that closing A&Es and losing acute beds is about saving money. Alongside the attack on junior doctors this is the greatest ever crisis in our local health service, a crisis not just created but fuelled by this Government.
Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith