Hammersmith and Fulham Council has continued its attack on local NHS reform plans after it emerged 500 hospital beds in west London were at risk.
Leader Stephen Cowan spoke out after it emerged the beds reduction was being made in a bid to avoid a £1 billion budget gap and treat patients closer to home.
It will result in the loss of 500 acute beds under the North West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) which has been outlined, but will not be officially submitted until June.
Cllr Cowan, who during the Hammersmith and Fulham Council annual meeting on May 18 called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to stand down (see video above), called the plans “dangerous” amid fears that a beds and funding crisis is threatening to hit local NHS services.
He said: “The plans to consider cutting 500 hospital beds are frankly dangerous . And we will continue to fight to protect our health service at every level.
“It is further proof that the credibility of the entire North West London Transformation plan, including proposals to axe blue-light services at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, is now in tatters.
“Local health bosses should be under no illusion that their most recent scheme will only serve to galvanise those dedicated campaigners who have fought so hard to protect local NHS services, such as those at Charing Cross.”
The STP includes the controversial Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF) programme, which has already seen the A&E at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals close and the maternity ward at Ealing Hospital , which will also lose it children’s ward this summer .
The proposals to cut 500 acute beds across H&F and neighbouring boroughs were published by North West London They were revealed by the local NHS in Ealing, which recommend the closure of the beds in order to avert the overspend in health and social care over the next five years, as part of its STP.
And last year a report led by Michael Mansfield QC called for an immediate halt to changes made under SaHF .