Thursday, June 23, 2005

Still Cross


A report in West Side (a posh-looking publication for West London, which purports to be a lifestyle magazine but is actually a glorified estate agents' brochure - what the hell, it's free) reinforces fears about the future of Charing Cross Hospital. There's not much new in the article on top of what we already know, but the article references a report that Hammersmith & Fulham Council debated an emergency motion, demanding that the local NHS Trust (Hammersmith Hospitals Trust) should guarantee the retention of emergency and specialist services (specifically cancer) at Charing Cross.

In response, Labour produced a carefully-worded leaflet, guaranteeng that "emergency and specialised services will be provided locally" (my italics). Now, both Hammersmith and Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals could - in a manner of speaking - be considered 'local' to Charing Cross. In other words, there has been no promise from Labour that Charing Cross will not be closed, and nothing to make us suspect anything other than that the services will be moved to Hammersmith and/or C&W. I don't feel any confidence that the hospital which gave me serious and life-saving help when brain fluid was leaking out of my nose will still be standing a few years from now.

I should warn anyone thinking of buying one of the luxury flats (that it's rumoured are going to be built on the site when the hospital is knocked down), that the view anywhere below the sixth floor is utter crap - either the traffic-choked Fulham Palace Road, or the congested rooftops of West Fulham. Still, some people seem to be prepared to pay anything to live close to a Zone 2 Tube station - nothing else could explain the high flat prices in Brixton.


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