was today victorious in the High Court. As local community campaigners joined with their local authority to toast having seen off the combined weight of faceless technocrats and Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, local people who use the health services were breathing a sigh of relief.
Congratulations to the people of Lewisham. And what a contrast to the abyss faced by those living in Hammersmith & Fulham. Unlike Lewisham the Council first joined the local campaign, only to abandon it having secretly negotiated a closure programme with the technocrats. No A&E Department will be left in the borough and those needing emergency treatment will need to try to survive a longer journey to hospitals in other parts of the city. Our Council's response to that is to resort to political point scoring, with remarks like this:
The soon to be former hospital buildings, such as Charing Cross on the Fulham Palace Road, will be sold off to property developers in order for luxury flats to be constructed. Sound familiar? At all?
In the meantime, and despite the unholy alliance of H&F Council and the Department of Health, our own local community campaign is carrying on the fight, with a meeting set for tomorrow at 7pm at Rivercourt Methodist Church in Hammersmith. That will be an opportunity to tell the Independent Panel now investigating this closure deal why our own hospitals are a wee bit more important than our Council seem to think. I can't be there on account of being on me 'ols, but I urge those of you inspired by the victory in South London to try to achieve a similar outcome in the West.