Ealing Council leader Julian Bell and campaigners from pro NHS groups in Ealing joined a huge demonstration campaigning to protect the NHS in central London on Saturday.
The march was part of the national celebrations for the 70th birthday of the NHS and was called by Health Campaigns Together and People's Assembly and supported by Health Unions and the TUC.
Ealing Trades Council joined Ealing Save Our NHS and Ealing supporters to march in the sweltering heat.
It comes as Ealing Council is calling on the heath secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to use NHS anniversary funding to protect vital emergency services at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals after a government minister confirmed further beds are likely to be lost in West London.
The council and the campaign groups have fought cuts to the region’s A&E and other hospital services tooth and nail since they were announced by the NHS in July 2012.
Two A&E departments at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals have already been closed, along with paediatric and maternity services at Ealing Hospital.
There has been uncertainty as to whether further cuts will happen.
But last week, Ealing Council leader Julian Bell said he received a response from Minister of State for Health, Steve Barclay which confirmed that "significant hospital bed closures" are still on the table.
The council says the axe is now hanging over Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es and acute care services. If approved, it says the plans to downgrade these services are expected to cost £500million to implement, and will result in 500 hospital beds being cut.
Ealing Conservatives, however, say the planned cuts will never happen and accuse the Labour Party of scaremongering.
Mr Bell said: “Nine out of 10 local people have said they don’t agree with plans that will leave Ealing hospital with no blue-light ambulances, critical care; surgery and specialist consultant-managed A&Es. Only urgent care centres would be left to treat cuts and bruises at these hospitals.
“For the past six years, we have been banging on the door of the department of health to speak up for local people and our health services.
“In the last week, Steve Barclay, Minister of State for Health has responded to my most recent letter. In it, he confirmed that ‘significant’ hospital bed closures in this area are still on the table.
"If these plans are approved, I believe that Jeremy Hunt’s promise made in parliament in 2013 that Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals would keep their A&Es will have been broken. Funding for this cuts programme is not yet in place. This means, it is not too late for the government to scrap these barmy plans and give our local hospitals the investment they so desperately need. Now, that really would be a NHS birthday present for Ealing that is long overdue.”
Councillor Binda Rai, Labour's cabinet member for health and adults’ services, added: “Instead of spending half a billion pounds to close our hospital services, why not show us the money and protect local health services.
“We know that our much-loved NHS has been under considerable financial strain and I don’t believe these plans would have even been considered if it wasn’t for the government’s austerity cuts.
"NHS statistics show that A&Es in this area are buckling under the pressure of increasing demand and over the winter persistently had some of the worst waiting times in the country. We would be happy to meet with ministers and tell them where any new money could be spent more effectively to meet local needs.
“Good social care and public health services are essential, they help people live healthier lives, stay out of hospital and live in their own homes for as long they can.
"Both have seen their funding slashed to the bone over the past eight years, when we are being asked to deliver them through a more integrated approach. We have to recognise that unless there is a serious and genuine effort to reverse the impact of these cuts on both health and social care, the NHS will continue to struggle.”
Last year a report by the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust found that the capital needs 1,700 extra acute beds by 2021 to cope with increased demand, The council is concerned people will be forced to travel further with longer ambulance journey times and longer waits in A&Es, which could make medical outcomes worse for local people.
But Ealing Conservative leader Greg Stafford accused Labour of scaremongering.
He said: "Once again, this is Labour playing politics with the NHS - deliberately trying to scare patients - and trying to distract from the welcome announcement by the Prime Minister of £20bn extra for the NHS.
"On the specific issue of Charing Cross and Ealing- this is just blatant falsehood and Labour should be utterly ashamed of their scaremongering.
For example, far from closing, plans to redevelop and expand the A&E department at Charing Cross Hospital are underway now.
"Costing £7.2 million, the redevelopment will increase the number of rooms in the urgent care centre from seven to nine, increase the number of ‘majors’ cubicles in the emergency department from 12 to 15 and increase the number of resuscitation bays in the emergency department from five to eight. It will also create two dedicated mental health rooms.
"Similar plans for Ealing are being developed.
"Labour are chasing headlines at the expense of the most vulnerable. They would be better putting their own house in order and sorting the major overspend underperformance in social care that this administration has ignored over eight years." On Thursday, July 5, Ealing Save our NHS is holding a 70th NHS birthday party. This will take place on Uxbridge Road outside Ealing Hospital and all are welcome to join in for cake, speeches, singing and more.