Charing Cross Hospital Closure Rumours Untrue
Apr 15, 2005 - 4:11:38 PM
The Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust has been looking at the long term capital investment programme required. The trust expects to have to spend up to £400 million on renewing its buildings during the next ten years. With that level of investment the trust has to look at all the options available to demonstrate that what is being planned is the best way of spending public funds. But the trust has no proposals that would involve ceasing to provide hospital services at Charing Cross hospital site. In the long term the hospital will either have to be extensively refurbished or rebuilt.
Decisions will be driven by the strategic requirements of health care in west London, not a short term need to make savings, says chief executive Derek Smith. We are looking at options at the moment, but as yet have no plans, and are unlikely to have for some time yet. Any changes would first be tested through full-scale staff and public consultation.
While we will need to institute a savings programme for 2005/2006, there is no plan to close services provided by the largest hospital in west London, including essential cancer, neurosciences and vascular services, the world class Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, undergraduate training and essential local services for people in Hammersmith and Fulham.
In recent years the trust has invested more than £14 million improving ITU, HDU, and MRI services at Charing Cross. It has introduced a picture archiving and communication system (PACS), and just last week formally opened a one-stop urology service. It is continuing to invest in day and stay facilities, a programmed investigation unit and day beds for imaging. The trust has also been supported by North West London Strategic Health Authority in funding £5 million capital to make improvements to fire precautions at Charing Cross to meet regulatory requirements.
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