Today he went a step further and had this to say in a broadside against neighbouring MP Greg Hands, whose constituents use both Chelsea & Westminster as well as Hammersmith hospitals:
“The campaign on the Friends of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which still lists Mr Hands as a vice-president is disgraceful – it is actively encouraging patients to vote for an option that closes a “rival” hospital.But Mr Hands is having none of it. He told me today that:
His position (and Malcom Rifkind’s) as a vice-president of the Friends - which is still advertised on their website - lends MPs’ support to this campaign, and wittingly or not, appears to endorse it.
The really wicked thing about this is that the Trust is deceiving people into voting for the closure of Charing Cross by dressing it up as a vote merely to keep Chelsea and Westminster open. People will be angry when they realise the trust is trying to dupe them like this – and an MP should not be anywhere near such a dishonest campaign – except to condemn it loudly.
Constituents in all three affected areas who have heard his half-hearted support for the apparently doomed Charing Cross hospital, will be shocked to learn that he is not explicit in his condemnation of this campaign to close Charing Cross.
He should immediately and publicly dissociate himself from this cynical attempt at divide and rule. Without this, protestations of support for Charing Cross Hospital have a very hollow ring.”
“Keeping the A&E at Chelsea & Westminster is vital. The hospital has every right to argue its case, but I would have preferred them to have joined me in arguing against the whole consultation.Meanwhile the march to save our hospitals in H&F will be taking place on 6th October, and the organisers have had to make a couple of changes to the route and timings, so here they are again:
“As I reported in my email bulletin last week, I met the senior management of the hospital and told them this plainly. I believe Chelsea & Westminster will be badly affected if Charing Cross Hospital is downgraded. It will have to deal with a big influx of patients from Fulham and beyond.
“My constituents need and use both A&Es. That’s why I have also been a Friend of Charing Cross Hospital for the last 14 years, repeatedly defending it against attacks of this kind.
“All parties locally have joined me in fighting to keep A&E services at both hospitals. This is a battle we need to win.”
The march will start from Shepherds Bush Green, assembling in Rockley Rd and will proceed to Lille Road Rec for the final rally.
Assemble from 11am; Leave Rockley Rd 12noon, arrive Lillee Road about 1pm. All details, including a map, are here