‘Don’t fool with our NHS’ was the message from hospital campaigners who dressed up in silly outfits on April Fools’ Day.
Members of Save Our Hospitals protested in eccentric costumes, including Father Christmas and handmade designs, outside Charing Cross Hospital today but their message was serious.
The campaign continues to fight against NHS proposals to close A&Es and cut services at Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Ealing and Central Middlesex hospitals.
Desiree Cranenburgh, who has worked in social services for 40 years, said: “This is April Fools’ Day but this is not a time to fool about with our health. It’s serious. We need to get together as a community and help save our local health care.
“Our main thing is getting the patient voice heard, lots of us are patients and carers.
“We’re a growing group, we have tables in Chiswick, Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith. We’re still getting support. People still come to us because they can’t believe anyone would want to close a hospital down.”
Another campaigner Gloria Wildman said: “This is so much bigger then me, it’s about saving lives. I’m fighting to save this hospital to save lives. In this day and age we shouldn’t have to do that.”
NHS North West London, which is leading the Shaping a Healthier Future scheme, intends to centralise services such as stroke and major trauma at specialist hospitals and provide more care in the community. Health bosses say the changes could save more than 130 lives each year in north-west London.
Save Our Hospitals is staging an Easter Vigil outside Charing Cross on Thursday from 6pm. Visit www.saveourhospitals.net for more information on the campaign.