Ealing Council to Apply for Judicial Review of NHS Closure Plans
Review will include Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals
Ealing Council’s cabinet has agreed this week agreed to apply for a judicial review to challenge the NHS’s decision to close four casualty departments and downgrade other local hospital services at hospitals including Charing Cross and Hammersmith.
This action is in contrast to that of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which has made it clear it is not taking further action over cuts to the borough's hospitals.
Ealing Council says the application for legal action is being taken by the council because it feels the plans are not in the best interests of local people. The concerns raised by the council include failure to take into account clinical evidence, insufficient public and patient engagement, inadequate public consultation and a failure to consider the impact that stopping services would have on Ealing residents.
The council’s legal team is expected to lodge papers with the court in the next two weeks.
In addition to the legal action, the council has already referred the plans to the government and the secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt is expected to order an independent review, after promising that he would do so if asked by Ealing Council in the House of Commons in February.
Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell said: "We are facing a David versus Goliath struggle to protect our local hospitals but will use every option open to us, including going to court, to fight to keep these vital services for our residents.
“Although times are tough and the council is facing increasing pressure on its finances, it is right we stand up and fight to protect local hospital services. If this means taking this battle to the courts, so be it.
“The changes being pushed through are not only the largest ever attempted in the history of the NHS, they are also completely untested – with our residents playing the part of unwilling guinea pigs. People are rightly frightened, angry and frustrated that their views are being so recklessly ignored.”
Meanwhile, residents from Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham are joining forces to take to the streets en masse on Saturday, April 27 to drive home their message: Hands Off Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Ealing and Central Middlesex Hospitals.
The campaigners will meet at Acton Park at 12.30pm, before going on to a rally on Ealing Common at 2pm.
All political parties on Ealing Council are against the proposals.
In addition to the marches, people can support Save Our Hospitals by following the campaign on Twitter hashtags #SaveOurHospitals and #HelpSOH.
Find out more about the campaign in Hammersmith and Fulham here.
April 25, 2013