The future of Charing Cross Hospital
The long-term, future plans for Charing Cross Hospital are back in the spotlight. Hammersmith and Fulham Council has produced leaflets and posters to “fight the latest closure plan”, referring to the north west London sustainability and transformation plan (STP) published last week.
We want to reassure our staff, patients, local residents and partners that Charing Cross is NOT closing and that there will be NO reduction in the Hospital’s A&E and wider services during the lifetime of the STP, which runs until April 2021.
The STP, which brings together and co-ordinates the priorities and plans of health and social care organisations across north west London, provides some further clarity on the future of Charing Cross:
• There are long standing plans, consulted upon in 2012, to develop Charing Cross as a local hospital within the wider network of hospitals and community services run by our Trust and others in north west London. Under these plans, Charing Cross would provide a wide range of specialist, same-day, planned care, as well as integrated care and rehabilitation services for older people and those with long-term conditions. It would retain a 24/7 A&E appropriate to a local hospital.
• However, a huge amount of analysis, design and evaluation is required in order to progress the plans, especially to ensure that new services that are intended to reduce the need for inpatient hospital care, particularly for long-stays, are in place and working before any changes are made to our acute hospital services. There is a clear commitment in the STP that “there will be no substantive changes to A&E in Hammersmith and Fulham until such time as any reduced acute capacity has been adequately replaced by out-of-hospital provision.” The STP, which covers the period up until April 2021, does not include the implementation of plans for Charing Cross to become a local hospital or any reduction in its capacity.
• The STP also makes clear that:
o “NHS partners will review with local authority STP partners the assumptions underpinning the changes to acute services”
o “[NHS partners] will progress with the delivery of local services before making further changes”
o “[NHS partners] will work jointly with communities and councils to agree a model of acute provision that addresses clinical safety concerns and expected demand pressures”.
For further information on the STP and the Trust’s plans, please see our website.