Charing Cross to be closed by stealth say Tories
Motion put to the Council seeking reassurance on future
Newly elected MP Greg Hands and local Conservative Councillors have joined to allege that there is a plan to close Charing Cross Hospital. An emergency motion was put to the Council calling on the local NHS Trust to guarantee emergency and specialised services will remain at Charing Cross.
In response to the Conservative calls, Labour handed out a leaflet denying the threat to Charing Cross, whilst only guaranteeing that “emergency and specialised services will continue to be provided locally” - not necessarily on the Charing Cross site. Conservatives believe this is tantamount to closing the hospital by stealth.
Commenting, Conservative Group Leader, Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh said: “Despite the extra billions of pounds in public spending that Labour has poured into the NHS, the Hammersmith Hospitals Trust faces a huge financial deficit of around £20 million. The NHS managers claim that the ageing buildings on the Charing Cross site require £100 million to bring them up to scratch. This is why the threat to cut the emergency and specialised services on Charing Cross site is so real – but they just won’t admit what they are doing.”
The emergency motion read: "This Council notes with concern the recent press speculation that Charing Cross Hospital is threatened with closure or having its services greatly reduced. The Charing Cross Hospital is currently the major trauma centre for the west of London which deals with serious injuries in the event of a disaster requiring there to be a number of specialised services on the Charing Cross Hospital site. The Charing Cross also has one of the largest cancer care centres in the country. This Council calls on Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust to guarantee that these specialised services will remain at Charing Cross."
Concern about the future of Charing Cross Hospital has increased following relevations that cash strapped Ravenscourt Park Hospital may be privatised to ease the financial burden on the local hospital trust.
Hammersmith Hospital Trust did not respond to a request for comment on this matter.
June 7, 2005