Health campaigners fighting to save casualty unit hand in petition to hospital chiefs

Crusaders are battling to stop Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E department from being axed

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

The group delivered the 2,000 signature document to the offices of NHS North West London in Marylebone in their battle to stop the Accident and Emergency unit in Central Middlesex Hospital from being axed.

Under the controversial ‘Shaping a Healthier Future plans’, which will overhaul healthcare in eight London boroughs including Brent, the casualty unit will be closed while those in Ealing, Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals could also be in jeopardy.

In July this year, it was announced it would be axed despite undergoing a �62million makeover in 2006.

Last year, the department had its opening hours cut back resulting in it closing at 7pm every night.

The petition is calling for the casualty unit to be reverted back to a 24-hour operation, all four endangered A&Es to remain 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.”

Last month campaigners held a march from Harlesden town centre to Central Middlesex Hospital to highlight their concerns.

Similar action took place on Saturday with crusaders marching from Shepherds Bush Green to Charing Cross Hospital.

A 16-week public consultation into the plans ends today.