December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Ealing Council is challenging a decision to reject its request for a judicial review of plans to downgrade four local hospitals.
The council is now seeking an oral hearing at the High Court in a bid to secure a full judicial review, less than a month after campaigners in Lewisham saw a judge quash the Health Secretary’s decision to downgrade A&E and maternity services at their local hospital.
At the time Raj Gill, from the Ealing Save our Hospital Campaign, said it was a ‘historic victory’ which would have a far-reaching impact on the government’s plans to close hospital services.
But the request for a judicial review into west London NHS cuts has been denied, which the leader of Ealing Council called a ‘body blow’, but pledged to carry on fighting.
The council applied for a review in March after the NHS approved plans to shut four emergency wards and downgrade other services at Ealing, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals.
Local campaigners and the council have raised concerns about the safety of the controversial plans, and the ability of remaining services to cope.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “This news hit us like a body blow, but we are determined to fight on.
“The NHS want to treat the people of Ealing as guinea pigs in the largest experiment in its history and we believe it is only right that our very serious concerns get proper consideration.
“If you plot emergency hospital services on a map of north west London, it is very apparent that there is a gaping hole of provision over Ealing.
“Unsurprisingly, we do not believe these monstrous plans are in our best interest and we want our day in court.”
Alongside the council’s bid for a judicial review, it also referred the NHS’s decision to Jeremy Hunt, who then ordered an independent panel to review the plans, which will submit a report to the health secretary in September.