Protesters have gathered outside two west London hospitals as a final fight against the closure of their A&Es.

The units at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospitals have shut today (September 10), leaving both sites with a GP led urgent care centre (UCC) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

As the sirens went quiet for the final time throngs of dedicated Save Our Hospital campaigners holding placards and banners sang a specially written song defending the NHS and its services.

Video thumbnail, Protestors outside Hammersmith hospital
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Hitesh Tailor, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services and east Acton ward councillor said: “Losing both Central Middlesex and Hammersmith on the same day is disastrous for local residents especially given the alternatives at Northwick Park have been assessed as being worse.

“Residents are angry and disappointed that the NHS managers, the Government and our own MP continue to ignore their concerns.

“I am also aware that despite the thousands of pounds being spent on glossy campaigns to publicise the closures, many residents have not received information on the changes.”

Video thumbnail, Protest outside Central Middlesex hospital
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Patients requiring an ambulance will have to go to either St Mary’s in Paddington, Northwick Park, Charing Cross or Ealing hospitals.

However Charing Cross and Ealing are also set to be turned into UCCs, while Northwick is soon to open a £21m A&E.

Map of 24/7 A&E departments and urgent care centres in north west London

Steve Cowan, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: “ David Cameron gave promises that Hammersmith A&E would stay open until capacity increased at St Mary’s in Paddington. That hasn’t happened. This puts lives at risk and the buck stops at David Cameron’s door.

“By telling people the A&E is changing not closing they are in danger of people going to the urgent care centre at Hammersmith in an emergency where they may not be able to treat them properly.”


UCCs are run by experienced GPs and nurses for patients who cannot wait for a GP appointment, but do not need the emergency treatment provided at an A&E.

They provide treatment for sprains and strains of ankles, wrists and knees, minor burns of small areas, cuts including those that may need stitches, minor infections that GPs commonly treat such as ear, nose and throat, minor broken bones such as toes, finger and collarbone and for X-rays.

A spokeswoman for the Shaping a healthier future programme, designed to improve NHS services for north west London, said: “Changes to our local NHS are necessary as we have a growing population with more long term conditions but also because as medicine advances, the way we provide care also needs to change.

“Some treatments that once required a lengthy stay in hospital can now be resolved with day surgery and some conditions requiring regular trips to hospital can now be treated in the patient’s home.”

She said this means fewer beds will be needed, allowing them to concentrate on specialist care, and that they will have more doctors on site.

Shaping a healthier future say this is part of a wider programme of improvements over the next three to five years which includes significant investment in hospitals in the area.

For more information on A&E changes at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith, visit