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Hospital Services (London)

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

Clearly, it is for the local NHS to determine the best way to reconfigure services to meet the needs of local people, but changes to existing service provision should be initiated only where there is a clear and strong clinical case for doing so in the best interests of patients.

I welcome news from the Imperial College trust that the new hyper-acute stroke unit is to be based at Charing Cross hospital in my constituency. However, hidden in the small print of the consultation document there is already a proposal to move those new facilities to St. Mary’s in Paddington. Does the Minister share my concern about the continual transfer of services from Charing Cross hospital to others, including renal, obstetrics, gynaecology and now vascular surgery, and the detrimental impact that will have on my constituents and those across west London?

That is a somewhat churlish way of welcoming the fact that the hon. Gentleman is having a new facility located in his constituency at Charing Cross. I should have thought he would welcome that. As far as Charing Cross hospital is concerned, the aim is to retain a full range of health services for the people of Hammersmith and Fulham, including 24-hour full accident and emergency and maternity services. The trust will continue to provide neurology and stroke services at Charing Cross. That is the long-term programme, but we want to have a project at St. Mary’s as well, so I do not think the hon. Gentleman needs to get overly worried—there will continue to be stroke services at his hospital.