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Hundreds say hands off our hospitals

Wed 04 Oct 2017
Hundreds of residents showed their strength in opposing the NHS plans on Saturday with two marches culminating in a rally at Ealing Common.

Campaigners chanted and raised banners and placards to show their support against the proposed plans to downgrade Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals.

All along the route marchers were greeted with claps, waves from shoppers and toots from passing cars.

The marches started at Southall Park and Acton respectively with local councillors and MPs leading.

At Southall Park, Ealing Council leader Julian Bell, MP for Ealing Southall Virendra Sharma, GLA member Dr Onkar Sahota led the rally. They addressed the crowd along with Olly New (Ealing Save Our NHS) and Dr Helen Laycock.

Meanwhile at Acton Park, local East Acton councillor and cabinet member for health and adult’s services Hitesh Tailor, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham councils Steve Cowan, MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter and MP for Ealing Central and Acton Rupa Huq brought more supporters to the rally.

The main rally in Ealing Common was chaired by Eve Turner, Secretary of Ealing Save Our NHS. It was addressed by 3 MPs: Rupa Huq, Virendra Sharma and Andy Slaughter, GLA member Dr Onkar Sahota and Council Leaders Julian Bell and Steve Cowan - all of them in strong opposition to the planned hospital cuts.

Councillor Julian Bell said: "To see so many campaigners give up their time and support to oppose the NHS plans was vital and we thank them all. It is very clear the opposition that residents have with the proposals."

"The campaigning doesn’t stop here; we need people to sign the petition to save our hospitals."

The rally comes after findings of a recent independent health survey commissioned by Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham councils were published.

The survey, led by independent market researcher BMG Research, asked 1,514 residents about NHS North West London’s Shaping a Healthier Future plan.

The NHS plans lack the support of local people. It found that:

  • 90% disagree with plans to close A&E departments at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals
  • 90% disagree with plans to cut 500 hospital beds across the north-west London region
  • 94% believe one of the essential features of an A&E should be to treat major injuries or conditions
  • 85% are against the downgrade of hospitals’ from major to local
  • 92% agree blue light ambulances is an essential feature of A&E units

    Residents are urged to sign the petition launched by Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham Councils. The petition is available online at It is due to close early next year at which point it will be delivered to the government. Visit for more information and to sign-up for updates.

    Save our Hospitals march from Southall Park

    If you were unable to attend the march from Southall Park to Ealing Common, you can watch it here along with the speeches.

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