Save Our Hospitals Campaigner Wish Charing Cross a Happy Birthday

40 years to the day since the hospital first opened

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Save Our Hospitals campaigners gathered at Charing Cross Hospital on Wednesday May 22, to mark the 40th anniversary of the day it first opened its doors in 1973.

Una Hodgkins gave us this report on the day's activities and the history of our local hospital:

" Amid all the uncertainties and protests about the future of our hospitals in London there was one bright spot on Wednesday 22nd May.

" On that day in 1973 the 'Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham' was opened to replace the old Fulham Hospital on the Fulham Palace Road. Costing £15M and rising to 15 floors, the new hospital was part of the West London and Fulham hospitals group.

"Tiles from the original Charing Cross Hospital in Villiers Street were saved and are on display in the foyer on the first floor. It later joined its own medical school with Westminster and St Marys Medical Schools.

" In 1997 it merged with Imperial College, London, the National Heart and Lung Institute and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (at Hammersmith Hospital) to form the enlarged Imperial College School of Medicine.

" The Save Our Hospitals group arranged an afternoon birthday celebration outside the main entrance, next to the Henry Moore statue, with balloons, birthday cakes, brownies, cupcakes, savoury snacks and other delicacies which were sold to the public.

" 'Happy Birthday' and 'Many happy returns' were sung enthusiastically. Staff and students looked bemused and joined in with the local supporters and ambulant patients."

Meanwhile the NHS' plans to close four casualty departments and downgrade local hospitals, including Charing Cross annd Hammersmith, will be referred to an independent panel to review.

This follows a letter from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to Ealing Council confirming that given the scale of the changes and the council’s referral to him that he would ask the panel to carry out a full review of the plans.

It is expected that the panel will complete its report by September, after which the health secretary will consider its findings before making his decision.

Find out more about the Save Our Hospitals campaign in Hammersmith and Fulham here.


May 31, 2013