Campaigners fighting to save hospital casualty unit will hand in petition to health chiefs

Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E unit will be axed in controversial plans

Campaigners fighting to save a hospital’s casualty unit will hand in a petition to health chiefs this afternoon (Monday).

The Accident and Emergency unit in Central Middlesex Hospital will be axed as part of the Shaping a Healthier Future proposals by NHS North West London.

Under the controversial plans, which will overhaul healthcare in eight London boroughs including Brent, the casualty units in Ealing, Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospital could also be in jeopardy.

Last year, Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E department had its opening hours cut back resulting in it closing at 7pm every night.

In July this year it was announced it would be closed for good despite undergoing a �62million makeover in 2006.

Health crusaders have vowed to fight the plans and will be handing in the 2,000 -signature petition calling for the casualty unit to be restored to a 24-hour operation, all four endangered A&E departments to be left open, a halt to cutbacks in healthcare services and the end to privatisation in the NHS.

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Sarah Cox, Brent health campaigner, told the Times the closures would have a devastating effect on the community.

She said: “This will have an enormous impact on residents especially those who live in Stonebridge and Harlesden.

“Parents with babies and young children have also stressed their concerns. There should be no closures at all.”

Campaigners fighting the plans took to the streets on Saturday by taking part in a march from Shepherds Bush Green to Charing Cross.

A similar march took place in Harlesden last month.

Crusaders from Brent will join their counterparts from Ealing and Hammersmith outside 15 Marylebone Road, near Baker Street, where they will present their petitions at 1pm.