CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Ealing Hospital have been handed a reprieve after it was confirmed the decision to close the site would be reviewed.
Last week, health bosses announced they would close the A&E at Ealing, as well as departments at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals.
Under the plans, Ealing would lose 327 beds and key services, including maternity and paediatrics.
A new scaled-down hospital would be built, with the surrounding land sold off.
Angie Bray, MP for Ealing and Acton, questioned Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the House of Commons this week, asking if he would refer the decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.
Mr Hunt confirmed that he would, as soon as Ealing Council writes to him.
The independent review will be comprised of medical experts and could take up to six months to decide whether or not to overturn the NHS proposals.
Ms Bray used the first question to Mr Hunt during Health Questions in Parliament on Tuesday, along with Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “I am pleased that Jeremy Hunt has indicated that he will heed any call made for a review, and that it is highly likely to happen.
“We desperately need this review to go back over how this decision was reached. To lose all four of the A&Es that serve my constituency in one go has always struck me as reckless and a disproportionate outcome for my constituents.
“I hope that a review will serve to get everyone back around the table to reconsider.”
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “I’m encouraged by the fact that Mr Hunt is willing to review the decision, atlhough it is entirely possible that the review panel could agree with the original proposal to close the site.
“There is still a long, hard battle ahead of us.”
Mr Bell said there is also the possibility that the council could challenge the decision to close through a judicial review.