Hammersmith Hospitals "shut down" for Christmas

No plans for elective surgery between 6th December and 10th January

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This week Cllr Greg Hands has hit out at what he called "Labour’s Scrooge” attitude to Hammersmith Hospitals, as it is revealed that local patients suffering from complaints such as hernias will not be treated at all until the New Year.

In a report by The Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust to the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel, hospital bosses announced that there are now no plans for elective surgery between 6th December and 10th January. This “shut down” period marks an extension of a week more than the normal Christmas close down for elective surgery at both Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals.

During a meeting of the Scrutiny Panel on Monday 15th November 2004, Alison Kingston, the Associate Director of Clinical Services and Performance Operations, said that ‘elective surgery’ includes hip replacements and hernia corrections, without which the patients can be left in considerable pain.

This extended period is due to a financial crisis hitting the local Primary Care Trust, which has already caused a reduction in capacity across the trust area by 96 beds (45 at Charing Cross Hospital and 51 at Hammersmith Hospital).

Commenting, Cllr Greg Hands said: “This extended shut down period is typical of Labour’s neglect of the National Health Service in Hammersmith & Fulham.

“Tony Blair has let down Hammersmith & Fulham patients – starving our hospitals of cash and causing operations to be delayed. First they reduced capacity, now they are having to shut down altogether for over a month!

“This Christmas, those expecting their painful conditions to be operated on will be calling the Prime Minister “Mr Scrooge! It’s just not good enough.”


November 21, 2004