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Protest Over London NHS Cuts

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

GMB Join Protest At Dept Of Health On 30th April As Trust Plans Sale Of Inner London NHS Land To Property Developers For Luxury Flats

Property developers are looking to feast like hyenas on prime sites that they will develop into more luxury “buy to leave” properties for wealthy overseas buyers says GMB

GMB, the union for health workers, will join the handing in of petitions at the Department of Health at 11am on Thursday 30th April organised by the Save our Hospitals group in Hammersmith & Charing Cross as well as Save Our Hospital campaigners from Ealing.

Imperial Healthcare Trust has announced plans to sell NHS sites to property developers for luxury accommodation. Charing Cross Hospital will be demolished and 55% of the land to be sold to developers; hospital space to be reduced by more than 75%. Western Eye Hospital will close and the site is to be sold. They also plan to sell off 45% of St Mary’s Paddington site to developers. See notes to editors for text of latest leaflet from Hammersmith and Charing Cross save our hospitals campaign.

GMB members will join a “die in” photocall protest organised by these campaign groups to coincide with the handing in of the petitions against the cut backs and closures..

Rehana Azam, GMB NHS National Officer, said “On Thursday 30th April we will lie down outside the powerhouse that is the Department of Health, in solidarity with health workers and those who have suffered detriment through the actions of Andrew Lansley and Jeremy Hunt.

The Department of Health has axed so many services we refuse to leave this unchallenged.

GMB will be supporting NHS campaigners from Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Ealing Hospitals, all campaigning to keep local NHS Services.

NHS Staff are the beating heart of the NHS and we have seen staff morale plummet, hit rock bottom. NHS Staff are at their wits’ end. They’re delivering health services against a sweeping programme of downgrades, cuts and closures.

In London the property developers are looking to feast like hyenas on these prime sites that they will develop into more luxury “buy to leave” properties for wealthy overseas buyers.”

GMB will be supporting NHS campaigners from Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Ealing Hospitals, all campaigning to keep local NHS Services.

NHS Staff are the beating heart of the NHS and we have seen staff morale plummet, hit rock bottom. NHS Staff are at their wits’ end. They’re delivering health services against a sweeping programme of downgrades, cuts and closures.”

Merril Hammer, Chair Hammersmith & Charing Cross Save our Hospitals,  said "Closures and re-orgaisations are about reducing services, pushing people towards private medicine, increasing the number of private patients, and opening the door to huge profit-making corporations.

They must be resisted! We are doing this at Charing Cross and Hammersmith and will be handing our petition, with our fellow Ealing campaigners, to the Dept of Health during the 'die-in' tomorrow. Join us."

End

Contact: Rehana Azam on 07841 181656 or Tony Hughes 07738 958 142 or 01462 499650 or Warren Kenny 07843 632 394 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Text of latest leaflet from Hammersmith and Charing Cross save our hospitals campaign:

DEMOLITION JOB

Even worse than we feared - Imperial’s clinical strategy revealed

Local NHS bosses for Imperial Healthcare Trust have published their organisation plans for our local hospitals. Key points are:

Hammersmith Hospital

·    Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&Es closed on the same day: 10 Sept 2014

·    Hammersmith patients expected to travel to St Mary’s Paddington

·    An Urgent Care Centre, GP not consultant led, only for minor illnesses and injuries will replace the A&E

·    St Mary’s is already at capacity with current patients. Where will an additional 60 patients per day from the Hammersmith A&E closure go? (Hammersmith currently deals with 22,000 A&E cases a year.)

Charing Cross Hospital

·    Charing Cross will stop being a major acute hospital and will only exist as a newly built ‘local hospital’ – day surgery and outpatients only

·    360 beds to be cut to just 24

·    No A&E – they still can’t explain what will replace the A&E in the ‘local hospital’

·    Major emergency services to go – including stroke unit; acute surgery. Also neurosurgery; urology; complex ENT; breast reconstruction

Community Care

·    They plan to cut 170 beds over the 3 Imperial sites (Hammersmith, Charing Cross and St Mary’s) but in West London we have a fast growing population with more housing planned – including 30,000 new flats within half a mile of Hammersmith Hospital; and people living longer with more complex medical conditions

·    No evidence of planning for extra community medical care which they want to replace hospital treatment when we already have major cuts and underfunding in the local NHS – just in Imperial’s budget a cut of £127m in the last 3 years and plans to cut £207m more by 2019

·    No evidence that local authority budgets will cope with additional demands

Selling our hospitals

·    Charing Cross Hospital will be demolished - 55% of the land to be sold to developers; hospital space to be reduced by more than 75%.

·    Western Eye Hospital will close and the site is to be sold

·    They also plan to sell off 45% of St Mary’s Paddington site to developers

·    They expect to raise £270m from these sales but we don’t know how this money will be used to improve local health services

·    And still they will need to borrow millions for demolition and rebuild of our hospitals

Travel

·    Imperial say nothing about how patients, families and carers can get to and from any hospital by public transport, affecting women, elderly and low-income people in particular. Charing Cross has the best public transport links, bus and tube – it’s to be demolished!

Privatisation

·    They plan to double private patients in next 5 years creating a 2-tier health service

·    More services to go out to private tender

Imperial Health Trust are wasting our NHS money by paying PR companies £300,000, including £55,000 to M&C Saatchi, to ‘sell’ these plans to a public which they know is opposed to these cuts and closures. ‘Change’ is what they say (not so upsetting!), closure is what we’re getting! Just see their posters!

Charing Cross to be demolished and ‘local hospital’ to be built in its place; 45% of St Mary’s to be sold, with some new build. Yet the whole process is to be finished by 2020 with construction to start only at beginning of 2016/7.

These plans are very different from the original plans on which Imperial ‘consulted’. Imperial are resisting demands for a new, proper consultation. This is the biggest reorganisation in the history of the NHS. The people of NW London are being used as guinea pigs for an untried high-speed experiment in health provision.

THESE PLANS COULD DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH

Help us fight for OUR NHS – Imperial need to listen to the public!

 

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