On 7th February, Conservative councillors announced they had left the residents led, cross-party campaign to Save Our Hospitals and admitted they had been in private talks with government health chiefs since 2012.
Residents have now accused Conservative councillors of “betrayal” when details were release that only 13% of the current Charing Cross Hospital will be used for NHS care; that 60% of the Charing Cross Hospital ground-site will be sold to property speculators; that the numbers of beds will be cut from 500 to just 60 and that both of the Borough’s A&Es at Charing Cross Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital’s will close.
Labour have called for an independent health expert to assess these proposals and is questioning the propriety of the Conservatives’ behaviour for not calling an emergency Health Select Committee to assess their deal before they agreed it and for spending an estimated £20,000.00 on council hospital leaflets which it says are “filled with false propaganda.”
Cllr. Stephen Cowan, the Borough’s Labour Leader, said
“It is both surprising and disappointing that our former Conservative colleagues went behind the backs of all of us working on the Save Our Hospitals Campaign and secretly agreed this deal with government health chiefs. It is a bad deal which sees us losing both of the Borough’s A&Es and nearly all acute services from Charing Cross Hospital. I’m sure they know how weak their deal is which is why they have been so sneaky in putting it together and are trying to hoodwink residents with their glossy, tax-payer funded leaflets. It’s an awful shame they didn’t stick with the campaign as there is a lot to fight for if we really want to safeguard residents’ health in this Borough. I think most people who trusted and worked with them feel betrayed.”It's like to be a feisty affair as our Council are in no mood to apologise. Here's Cllr Marcus Ginn, Cabinet Member for Community Care:
“The campaign to save Charing Cross has helped secure the future of the hospital, ensuring that the vast majority of people who currently use it for their everyday health needs will carry on doing so. The original proposals would have meant the hospital being demoted to little more than a health clinic. The new proposals would mean that the hospital will be four times bigger than the original plans, with many services protected and new services delivered. Services that have been protected or enhanced include cancer care, ante natal and post natal care, social and elderly care, renal care (kidney disease), CT scanning, MRI scanning, Endoscopy, ECG, physiotherapy, podiatry and audiology. The new proposals would mean that Charing Cross has its own specialisms focused around delivering expert elderly and social care and will take its place in a local hospital network offering very specialist care. This expert care network will see people with heart attacks continue to go to Hammersmith Hospital which has world class cardiology unit. We have not secured everything we wanted, but we have achieved a lot. This new specialist network of care will save lives. The NHS does have to change and burying our heads in the sand accepting ‘no change’ would have resulted in the worst possible outcome for Charing Cross and local residents.”