Greg Burns wrote the following article for the local Chronicle:
‘QPR Football Club are the latest Premier League Side to throw their backing behind the campaign to save the borough’s threatened accident and emergency department. The top-flight side is taking time out to voice their concerns about plans to shut the A & E department at Hammersmith Hospital in Du Cane Road – a stone’s throw from their Loftus Road ground.
The facility is earmarked for closure by NHS North West London as part of a radical shake-up of services announced in June. And Hughes was joined by players Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie last week to pledge their support to the ongoing campaign to save it.
Mackie said: “Everyone at QPR fully supports the petition to prevent the closure of the A & E department unit at Hammersmith Hospital. The unit offers an invaluable service to the local community and we hope this can be allowed to continue for many years to come,”
Charing Cross Hospital, in Fulham Palace Road, is also set for closure under the controversial scheme with Fulham FC stars backing the campaign to save it earlier this month. A ‘Save Our Hospitals’ petition has passed 7,000 signatures and a public meeting will see health bosses grilled over the proposals at Hammersmith Town Hall on September 18 at 7pm.
Councillor Marcus Ginn, community services leader, said; “Our community campaign is going from strength to strength and it is marvellous to have such a huge support from residents in the borough including the stars of QPR.”
“QPR has a long and distinguished history in our borough and they understand how devastating it would be if we lost two A &E units. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign so far, but this is only the beginning. We need as many people as possible to sign out petitions, display the posters and come along to the public meeting so the NHS bureaucrats re-think their plans.”
A public consultation into the plans, which will also mean the closure of A & E departments at Central Middlesex and Ealing hospitals, will end on October 8 with a final decision set for early 2013.’
The hospital was previously a workhouse infirmary, built by the Hammersmith Poor Law Guardians. A temporary corrugated iron building was erected on the site in 1902 to provide care for the victims of a smallpox epidemic that had taken place during the winter of 1901/02.
During the Great War it was taken over by the military and used as an orthopaedic hospital before becoming a general acute hospital in 1926. Along with all the workhouse hospitals in London, Hammersmith Hospital came under the control of London County Council in 1929.
Work continued in orthopaedics as well as the pioneering practice of plastic surgery by Sir Archibald MacIndoe who was to gain legendary fame in the Second World War for his treatment of badly burned airmen.
After an extensive re-building programme in 1935, it was reopened by King George V as the new home for the British Postgraduate Medical School. By the outbreak of WW2, the hospital had nearly 700 beds and treated a large number of air-raid casualties, many of whom had been dug out of bombed buildings. The hospital buildings also suffered bomb damage on several occasions.
In 1953 the hospital was made famous for the separation of Siamese twins.
For further details on the campaign, please visit: www.savehammersmith.com