Residents showed their strength of opposition to NHS plans to cut hospital services on Saturday (30 September) with two marches that culminated in a public rally at Ealing Common. You can view pictures in our photo gallery.
Campaigners chanted and raised banners and placards to show their support against the proposed plans to downgrade Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals.
The marches started at Acton and Southall parks, respectively, with local councillors and MPs leading both.
At Acton Park, it was led by the East Acton councillor and cabinet member for health and adult’s services Hitesh Tailor; leader of Hammersmith and Fulham councils Steve Cowan; MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter; and MP for Ealing Central and Acton Rupa Huq.
Meanwhile at Southall Park, Ealing Council leader Julian Bell and MP for Ealing Southall Virendra Sharma led the rally.
Councillor Julian Bell said: “To see so many campaigners give up their time and support to oppose the NHS plans was vital and we thank them all. It is very clear the opposition that residents have to the proposals.
“The campaigning doesn’t stop here; we need people to sign the petition to save our hospitals.”
The rally comes after findings of a recent independent health survey commissioned by Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham councils were published.
The survey, led by independent market researcher BMG Research, asked 1,514 residents about NHS North West London’s Shaping a Healthier Future plan.
The NHS plans lack the support of local people. It found that:
- 90% disagree with plans to close A&E departments at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals
- 90% disagree with plans to cut 500 hospital beds across the north-west London region
- 94% believe one of the essential features of an A&E should be to treat major injuries or conditions
- 85% are against the downgrade of hospitals’ from major to local
- 92% agree blue light ambulances is an essential feature of A&E units.
Sign the petition
Residents are urged to sign the petition launched by Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham councils. The petition is available online at www.sohpetition.co.uk. It is due to close early next year at which point it will be delivered to the government. Visit www.ealing.gov.uk/soh for more information and to sign-up for updates.