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Campaigners concerned about Ealing Hospital and local NHS services gather for huge public meeting

The meeting was held amid fears Ealing Hospital has been earmarked for closure, which the NHS has denied

Eve Turner from Ealing Save Our NHS addresses a packed hall during the public meeting on Wednesday (February 15)(Image: UGC TMS)

Hundreds of concerned residents crammed into a Ealing Town Hall for a meeting on the future of hospitals in the area.

Campaign group, Save Our Hospitals, previously claimed up to 600 hospital beds will be lost with the closure of Charing Cross and Ealing as a major acute hospital.

Some people were turned away after Victoria Hall reached its 450-person capacity, as campaigners met to discuss the future of Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals and the NHS crisis on Wednesday evening (February 15).

The meeting was held amid fears Ealing Hospital has been earmarked for closure, a claim which has been consistently denied by the NHS.

There is further concern Ealing and Charing Cross will downgraded to local hospital status.

The hospital in Uxbridge Road, Southall, has in recent years lost its maternity and paediatric unit under the controversial Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF) project , and campaigners say its very existence is threatened by the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP ).

Some people were turned away from the meeting after Victoria Hall reached capacity(Image: UGC TMS)

Among the speakers during the meeting was Eve Turner, secretary of Ealing Save Our NHS, who said after the meeting: “It’s beyond belief that even as they are sending people home early from overcrowded hospitals, the local health bosses are still defending their plans to cut hundreds of beds along with over 7,750 NHS staff, and reduce A&E capacity by 64,000 .

“But they have money for private spin doctors and management consultants – they paid one firm over £30 million to advise them on cuts. People are getting angrier all the time and I don’t blame them.”

She called on people to get involved in campaigned and support a national demonstration on March 4.

SaHF plans have also seen the closure of Central Middlesx and Hammersmith A&Es .

(Image: Ealing Gazette)

Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, which organised the meeting, and Steve Cowan from Hammersmith and Fulham Council, stated that they were refusing to support plans to cut even more beds and the A&Es in Ealing and Charing Cross Hospital.

Cllr Bell claimed it would be the equivalent of a city the size of Leeds being left with no A&E.

Also attending the meeting were Ealing Liberal Democrats members.

Cllr Jon Ball said: “NHS chiefs deny they will close Ealing Hospital but a hospital without an A&E, that performs no surgery and with no overnight beds, is not a hospital.

"Ealing deserves a real hospital not a glorified polyclinic.”

And leader of the Lib Dems, Cllr Gary Malcolm, added: “We must continue to fight to save our hospital which has been going on since the A&E was first threatened under the last Labour government.

"The Liberal Democrats support an additional 1p on income tax for the NHS.”

Dr Onkar Sahota, a GLA member and GP speaks from the podium(Image: UGC TMS)

Speaking in January, an STP spokesman said: “Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals are not closing.

“We are changing some of the services at these hospitals and in December we published a business case for over £500m of additional investment to improve NHS buildings and facilities across NW London over the next ten years.

Lib Dem leader Gary Malcolm speaks to the crowd(Image: UGC TMS)

“The business case is still subject to assurance from NHS England.”

A similar meeting was held at Hammersmith Town Hall in December last year.

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