THE Ealing Hospital Save Our Services campaign is continuing to urge people to show their support, despite assurances from Ealing Primary Care Trust that the A&E department is not under threat of closure.
On Monday, MP Virendra Sharma met Ealing Hospital's chief executive, Julie Lowe. Following that meeting, Ealing Primary Care Trust and Ealing Hospital said in a joint statement: "Ealing Hospital Trust and NHS Ealing (the local primary care trust) confirm their commitment to emergency services at Ealing Hospital.
"Reports that the A&E department is under threat of imminent closure are incorrect. To the contrary, plans are being advanced to supplement the department with an unscheduled care service, to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate care."
But the campaigners are questioning the use of the word 'imminent', which they say is ambiguous and misleading.
In the next few weeks, campaigners will be contacting all GPs, pharmacies and people in the community to gather support for the hospital, which was highlighted for possible downgrade of services, including A&E, maternity and paediatrics, according to a leaked NHS London document.
The pressure group will be holding a public meeting in the run-up to the general election. A spokesperson said: "We want a bright future for Ealing Hospital. We plan to ensure this becomes the main election issue for local people as these proposals will affect many people.
"We want politicians to be aware that they will need to demonstrate a clear public commitment to Ealing Hospital in retaining the acute services its residents want and need or they will be held accountable at the ballot box in May.
"We are aware of Virendra Sharma's efforts to gain assurances for Ealing Hospital A&E and welcome them. However, he may not be aware of all the new changes proposed himself as they have been kept under wraps from everyone by health bosses at NHS London.
"We are appealing to the residents of Ealing and Southall to join with us to support all the services on the Ealing Hospital site."
To join the campaign, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Ealing Hospital SOS campaign, c/o 27 Osterley Gardens, Chevy Road, Norwood Green, UB2 4UW or visit Ealing Hospital SOS on Facebook.