(photo report by Steve Eason)
The A&E departments at Hammersmith hospital and Central Middlesex hospital were shut down on Wednesday as part of a programme of “improvements” recommended by the Clinical Commissioning Group.
To mark the closure protesters from Save Our Hospitals went first to Hammersmith hospital and then on to Central Middlesex. Speakers included campaigners from Brent and Ealing as well as local residents.
The Hammersmith site is up for sale and will be partially demolished. Patients from Brent now have to go to Northwick Park hospital in Harrow. That’s 35 minutes by bus and train – I checked with Transport for London.
At one point hospital management kindly sent us a trolley of tea, coffee and biscuits – and three security guards.
One of the final speakers was Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith. He said he’d worked closely with the Save Our Hospitals campaign, but there was little that could now be done to reverse the Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&E closures. He added, however, that the ongoing battle to save Charing Cross hospital was eminently winnable.
I spoke to Raj Gill (pictured above on the left) from Ealing Save Our Services what the next steps for the campaign were. He warned that land sales may still go ahead and maternity services were also under threat. “So we’ve still got lot of fighting to do.”