To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Ealing Council celebrated alongside Ealing Save Our NHS campaigners with a birthday party rally outside Ealing Hospital from 12 – 2pm on Thursday 5 July.
The rally included cake, speakers, and music, but more importantly celebrated this landmark moment in the history of the NHS and the life-changing work done by its staff across the UK.
Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for health and adults’ services, said: “It was wonderful to be able to celebrate with NHS staff and local residents this milestone event. NHS staff are truly heroes. But this celebration has fallen at a critical time when the future of Ealing’s local NHS is overshadowed by the proposal to cut blue light A&E services at Ealing Hospital and reduce bed numbers in the region of up to 500.
“Doctors, nurses and support staff put in hours of hard work to look after our neighbours, family and friends. It was great to see so many come along to this celebration to show support to themand send a clear message that Ealing Hospital must be protected.”
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “On this 70th Birthday of the NHS it is important to pause and reflect on what a remarkable and precious national treasure the NHS is. That’s why the council has fought the cuts to our local A&Es and other hospital services since they were announced in July 2012. It has been a long hard fight and we will not stop until Ealing and Charing Cross Hospital services are saved and these crazy plans are withdrawn.
“I would like to pay tribute to the amazing NHS staff locally and also thank residents and activists across the borough who have committed so much time and effort over the last 6 years to protect our NHS and save our hospitals.”
Eve Turner, Secretary of Ealing Save Our NHS: “It is fantastic that so many people joined us today in support of our NHS and its fabulous health staff at a time when hospitals are under so much pressure. Today there are similar events across the country as part of a growing movement to defend our NHS. The cuts facing Ealing Hospital are mirrored up and down the country, but local people, campaigners and politicians are determined to stop the cuts. It is time that local health bosses started protecting Ealing Hospital not cutting.
“One of the best things about today is that we were joined by many hospital staff who were delighted at the amount of people that showed them support.”
With over 20 million patients a year, hospital Accident and Emergency departments are the beating heart of the NHS. Residents that came along sent a message that Ealing Hospital needs to be protected.
Save Our Hospitals campaign continues to be a key focus for the council, with its aim to continue to show our support for Ealing Save our NHS and campaigners across the borough and to protect our local health services.
Two A&Es at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals have already been closed, along with paediatric and maternity services at Ealing Hospital. The axe is now hanging over Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es and acute care services. If approved, the plans to downgrade services are expected to cost £500million to implement, and will result in 500 hospital beds being cut.