Charing Cross Hospital pledges expansion of the A&E Department – but patients want clarity for the future

An independent charity called Healthwatch Central West London has produced an interesting report on Charing Cross Hospital asking the NHS for greater clarity about the future. Research included interviews with 218 outpatients. There was a high level of satisfaction with the hospital and a range of opinions on various matters – for instance on whether any services should be switched from the hospital to  GP surgeries.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has stated that there will be no changes until at least 2021. But after that there is a possibility of it becoming a “local hospital”. If it did, do patients feel that their “health needs would be fully met”? Among the residents taking part in the survey, 17 said yes (30.36 per cent) eight said maybe (14.29 per cent) 27 said no (48.21 per cent) and another four (7.14 per cent) declined to answer. Understandably a lot of people wanted to know what a “local hospital” would mean.

Healthwatch Central West London asked what the definition was and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust responded:

“The consultation document (August 2012) for the plans to improve local NHS services in North West London as part of the SaHF programme, identified eight different settings for care. Section 10 of the consultation described a ‘Local hospital’ as follows: “Local hospital – this type of hospital provides all the most common things people need hospitals for, such as less severe injuries and less severe urgent care, nonlife threatening illnesses, care for most long-term conditions such as diabetes and asthma, and diagnostic services. It basically provides the kinds of services that most people going to hospital in NW London currently go there for.”

The NHS Trust does also say, in a tortuous phrase:

“Our approach of actively not progressing plans to reduce acute capacity at Charing Cross Hospital unless and until we could achieve a reduction in acute demand.”

As Charing Cross Hospital has been coping with an “increasing demand for acute hospital services” it would seem unlikely that would change any time soon.

However the NHS does argue that cutting the number of beds could be a measure of success:

“Over 30 per cent of inpatient beds in acute hospitals are occupied by patients whose care would be better provided elsewhere in their own home or community. Clinical audits regularly show that over 30 per cent of patients in an acute hospital bed do not need acute care. It is best for patients if they are able to return home at the optimal time for them, to be subsequently cared for in the most appropriate setting, preferably their own homes…..

“Charing Cross Hospital currently has just over 400 inpatient and day-case beds. Successful programmes have shown that high-quality interventions that support patients before they become acutely unwell can reduce non-elective admissions and slow progression of a disease. This can contribute to a reduction in overall care costs through the removal of acute beds when out-of-hospital solutions are in place. It does not necessarily mean planning to treat fewer people – it means treating people in a different way or different place.”

In another report the NHS Trust says:

“We have recently seen some of our largest ever investments in new facilities and equipment at Charing Cross Hospital, much of which has been made possible by the support of Imperial Health Charity.

“Over the past 18 months, some £6 million has been spent on major new developments including: Riverside theatres; main outpatient clinics; a new acute medical assessment unit; our first patient service centre; and the main new facility for North West London Pathology. In addition, we are spending almost another £8 million on replacing imaging equipment and installing two state-of-the-art LINAC radiotherapy machines so we can provide the most advanced cancer treatments.

“And our maintenance spend at Charing Cross this year is another nearly £6 million, around a third of our total Trust spend on backlog maintenance.

“As part of our investment in urgent and emergency care services and theatres at Charing Cross, we have co-located our acute medicine beds on the ground floor of the hospital, near to the A&E department, and closer to the imaging department. This has enabled medical patients to be admitted more quickly.

“In addition, we are currently working up a multi-million pound refurbishment and expansion of the A&E department at Charing Cross, to begin in the early part of 2018. The likely timescales however, mean that the improvements will impact after the current winter period.”

On its own website the NHS Trust says:

“Since 2016, we’ve committed over £20 million for building improvements and new imaging and radiotherapy equipment at Charing Cross.  

“We’ve also developed new services and employed extra doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff. More investment is already planned for 2018 and 2019, including a refurbishment and expansion of the A&E department.”

That report also says:

“We can currently predict that it will be some years into the future before acute demand has reduced sufficiently for us to look to reduce inpatient bed numbers or A&E capacity.”

2021 is not very far away. It would be good to have a clear guarantee that the A&E will continue and that the hospital will not be downgraded after that date. I am as confused by the convoluted jargon and changing messages from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as anyone else. But the fact that the A&E is currently being expanded is very welcome and clearly an encouraging sign for the future.

 

Paying to park in H&F using cash is about to get even harder

Many residents and visitors to the Borough have been exasperated by the failure of Hammersmith and Fulham Council to adapt the Pay and Display Machines for parking to take the new one pound coin. Last October I wrote about how the machines would not take the new coin – even when the old one had ceased to be legal tender.

Months later and the situation remains a mess. Many machines and vandalised and don’t work at all. Many others still only accept the old pound coin.

For traditionalists who wish to pay to park their car using cash the situation is about to get much worse.

Over the next six weeks all the 1,100 old machines (some working, some broken) will be removed. That will leave the 400 new machines – only around 20 per cent of which take cash.

The Council point out that most people now use the RingGo system when parking. They can do this with their mobile phone and so don’t need to visit any of these machines. It is also noted that for many who do use the machines being able to pay with credit or debit card will be a great convenience.

There is also a change to the visitor parking arrangements to fit in RingGo. The Smart Visitor Permit is being replaced with a resident’s visitor permit. It means that if you want to pay for the parking of someone visiting you then you type in their car licence number into your computer or phone and pay for the time in advance. They don’t have to have a document on their dashboard. But if you pay for longer than they need you don’t get any money back.

Ravenscourt Park Ward is largely covered by Parking Zones I, L and M. The map with the locations for the machines being removed and the new ones for Zone I is here, Zone L is here and Zone M is here. You might also be interested in Zone A or  Zone K.

For Zone I the streets where you will find the new machines are in:

Larden Road
Emlyn Road
Emlyn Road
Emlyn Road
Flanchford Road
Hartswood Road
Hartswood Road
Jeddo Road
Becklow Road
Wendell Road
Ashchurch Terrace
Ashchurch Park Villas
Ashchurch Grove
Bassein Park Road
Cobbold Road

None of them will take cash. all of them are card only.

For Zone L the streets where you will find the new machines are:

Ravenscourt Road
Ravenscourt Avenue
Redmore Road
Lamington Street
Aldensley Road
Carthew Road
Wingate Road
Dalling Road
Perrers Road
Paddenswick Road

Of those only the one in Ravenscourt Road will take cash.

For Zone M the streets where you will find the new machines are:

Ravenscourt Park
Ravenscourt Square
St Peter’s Square
Eyot Gardens
South Black Lion Lane
Standish Road
Weltje Road
Oil Mill Lane
Rivercourt Road
Rivercourt Road
Hamlet Gardens

Of those only the one in Ravenscourt Park will take cash.

Those streets in and around Ravenscourt Park Ward that had the old machine will see them removed over the next six weeks. They are located in:

Zone A

Blacks Road
Bridge Avenue
Down Place / Bridge Avenue
Bridge Avenue
Sussex Place
Blacks Road
Nigel Playfair Avenue
Nigel Playfair Avenue
Luxembourg Gardens
Macbeth Street
Bute Gardens
King Street
Sussex Place / Queen Caroline Street
Bridge Avenue
King Street
Down Place
Chancellors Road
Wolverton Gardens
Shortlands
Colet Gardens
Hammersmith Grove / Glenthorne Road
Chancellors Road
Brook Green
Macbeth Street
Hammersmith Bridge Road
Brook Green
Luxembourg Gardens
King Street
Cambridge Grove
Iffley Road
Cambridge Grove
Crisp Road
Rutland Grove
Bridge View
Wolverton Gardens
Leamore Street
King Street
Shepherds Bush Road
Queen Caroline Street
Chancellors Road
Glenthorne Road / Beadon Road
Studland Street
Bute Gardens
Riverside Gardens
Brook Green
Brook Green
Crisp Road
Queen Caroline Street
Mall Road
Dalling Road
Brook Green
Holcombe Street
Brook Green
Cambridge Grove
Cambridge Grove
Bute Gardens / Rowan Road
Studland Street
Colet Gardens
Rowan Road
Brook Green
Galena Road
Hammersmith Bridge Road
Brook Green
Great Church Lane
Rowan Road
Worlidge Street
Nigel Playfair Avenue Car Park
Glenthorne Road
Hammersmith Road
Argyle Place
Glenthorne Road
Fulham Palace Road
Leamore Street
Great Church Lane
Nigel Playfair Avenue Car Park
Dalling Road
Banim Street
Glenthorne Road
Blacks Road
Chancellors Road

Zone I

Bassein Park Road
Becklow Road
Gayford Road
Jeddo Road
Ashchurch Park Villas
Wendell Road
Bassein Park Road
Cobbold Road
Gayford Road
Jeddo Road
Larden Road
Ashchurch Grove
Warple Way
Ashchurch Terrace
Lefroy Road
Cobbold Road
Rylett Road
Rylett Crescent
Becklow Road
Wendell Road
Ashchurch Grove
Rylett Road
Jeddo Road
Binden Road
Gayford Road
Ashchurch Park Villas
Ashchurch Terrace
Ashchurch Grove
Cobbold Road
Stronsa Road
Cobbold Road
Rylett Road
Flanchford Road
Aylmer Road
Hartswood Road
Larden Road
Mayfield Road
Cobbold Road
Rylett Crescent
Palgrave Road
Gransden Road
Askew Road
Wendell Road
Hartswood Road
Hartswood Road
Flanchford Road
Emlyn Road
Askew Road
Hartswood Road
Emlyn Road
Becklow Road
Askew Road
Emlyn Road
Emlyn Road

Zone K

Richford Street
Adie Road
Aldensley Road
Benbow Road
Coulter Road

Zone L

Ravenscourt Road
Redmore Road
Redmore Road
Ravenscourt Avenue
Wellesley Road
Ravenscourt Road
Dalling Road
Dorville Crescent
Raynham Road
Aldensley Road
Paddenswick Road
Paddenswick Road
Ravenscourt Road
Bradmore Park Road / Lamington Street
Wingate Road
Wingate Road
Cardross Street
Nasmyth Street
Carthew Road
Bradmore Park Road
Atwood Road / Perrers Road
Dalling Road
Perrers Road
Nasmyth Street
Banim Street
Dalling Road
Dalling Road
Dalling Road
Dalling Road
Carthew Road
Atwood Road / Dalling Road

Zone M

Ravenscourt Park
Rivercourt Road
St Peters Square
Weltje Road
Westcroft Square
Ravenscourt Park
Beavor Lane
St Peters Road
Standish Road / Theresa Road
Westcroft Square
Westcroft Square
St Peters Road / Standish Road
Standish Road / King Street
Ravenscourt Gardens
St Peters Square
Black Lion Lane
St Peters Square
Hamlet Gardens
Cromwell Avenue
Ravenscourt Square
Ravenscourt Park
Hamlet Gardens
St Peters Villas
Berestede Road
Westcroft Square
Black Lion Lane
Rivercourt Road
St Peters Square
Rivercourt Road
Weltje Road
South Black Lion lane
St Peters Grove
Chiswick Mall
Eyot Gardens
Ravenscourt Gardens
Chiswick Mall
Weltje Road
Oil Mill Lane

A welcome reduction in clutter? An enhanced opportunity to plant street trees? Of course I can understand why the Council hates having metal boxes with coins sitting in them on the streets.

On the other hand there will be a considerable struggle for those who are used to parking in and around those streets and using the machines which are about to vanish. Those not willing or able to open RingGo accounts will find parking harder.

So whether the changes are welcome or not rather depends on your point of view. what about the elderly? They are often both the most resistant to new fangled technological wheezes and those with greatest difficulty trudging around trying to find a machine that will take their money. I think that on balance the changes are justified but that the number of machines that will take cash will be too few and far between.

At any rate there should have been greater sensitivity at bringing in these quite significant changes and communicating to residents what is happening. I have done my best to understand it and to explain it. Yet I expect there will be quite a few befuddled motorists standing on pavements in the coming weeks baffled as to what is happening.

Let’s clear away the telegraph poles

An interesting request from Richard Owen for the removal telegraph poles in his street – Overstone Road in Hammersmith.

He says:

“The majority of London streets have dispensed with them, and the poles plus cobweb of wires make a significant visual impact in a historic conservation area. We are due a major repair programme to pavements and roadway in the next few years and that might also be an opportunity to take out the poles.”

These pictures of Cerrigydrudion High Street – ironically courtesy of the “Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society” – show what a difference removing the clutter makes.

 

 

Council challenged over poor state of paths in Ravenscourt Park

There are plenty of complaints from residents about the cracked paving stones and potholes on the streets. But the state of the paths in the borough’s parks is even worse.

I have raised the matter with the Council’s Parks manager who responds:

“We are aware of the condition of the footpaths in Ravenscourt Park and have recently completed a condition audit of the footpaths within parks and cemeteries, which included Ravenscourt Park. We are now working with colleagues in Highways to develop a programme of works that will address the worse footpaths.”

For years the Council has been sitting on over half a million pounds provided by property developers in Section 106 payments – specifically promise for improvements to Ravenscourt Park.

Yet there is a struggle to get the basics right. Poor management.

 

Ravenscourt Park funfair dates

The council’s Events Manager tells me that the following funfairs are scheduled to take place in Ravenscourt Park during 2018;

Parnham’s children’s roaming funfair

12-26 March Ravenscourt Park (Operating weekdays 2-6pm and 11-6pm at weekends)

30th July-30th August includes the council ran Playday on 1st August which Parnham’s sponsors by giving free rides to children attending the event.

Carters steam fair

18th-24th September (Operating 22/23 September 12 noon until dusk)

The days allocated to funfairs have not increased and we do not permit the larger teen funfairs such as Irvin’s to operate within Ravenscourt Park.

In 2017 there was no damage caused that warranted reinstatement or maintenance that related to a funfair.

We arrange pre and post site meetings with the parks team and the funfair operator. If there is damage caused the operator is charged accordingly.

I have spoken with the parks team and the works that have taken place on the park last year were, in the main, related to the Annual Firework event. The profit from ticket sales offsets the expenditure relating to the reinstatement of the parks.

The parks team have also informed me that there has been additional verti – draining done on site (this is limited due to the topography of the site).”

There will always be some tension between regular Park users wishing to maintain “peaceful enjoyment” – and the large number who enjoy such events.

There is also a balance between revenue obtained and the extra maintenance costs. The amounts raised should be disclosed and it should all go on improvements for Ravenscourt Park – not going into general Council funds which happens at present.

 

Flooding in King Street and Goldhawk Road – the Council must ensure street drainage is not blocked

After the recent flooding incidents a resident emailed to say:

“Can I just mention regarding the recent flooding in King Street that we may not have had such a river on King Street if all the street drainage was not blocked due to lack of maintenance on the councils part.

“All over the borough when the rain is extremely  heavy as it was recently there were ponds forming on all streets due to blocked street drainage.

“It seems that the councils policy is to let them all block up and then send the maintenance crew out to deal with the matter in one hit rather than have a regular service on this important water clearing system and of course they get caught out when you get something like the burst we got in king st and street drainage fails  .

“I had to have emergency callout service to deal with flooding outside my own house due to recent heavy rains and street drainage all blocked up.”

The Council’s Flood Risk Manager tells me:

“With regards to the burst water main on King Street, once the water receded, the highway gullies were cleaned.  Only 2 gullies in the affected area were found to be blocked.  However due to the water main burst, the sediment which makes up the road base was flushed into the carriageway and subsequently flushed into the highway gullies, meaning once the pot was full of material from the water main burst, no more water could flow into the gully.  Additionally the amount of water from water mains burst was such that the water was not able to drain through the gullies quick enough, added to this was the pressure of the water, forcing the water to spread further until the pressure dissipated.

“In Weltje Road there are two blocked gullies that are with our drainage contractors for repair, one is opposite number 59, at the junction with King Street and the other is at the junction with Upper Mall.  These are in the programme and should be repaired by April 2018.

“Gully cleansing in Hammersmith and Fulham is undertaken on a programmed basis, with reactive cleansing undertaken when required.  Furthermore we are undertaking a large gully repair programme in the borough, aiming to repair some of the historical drainage issues we have on the public highway in the borough.”

Of course the recent instances have been the responsibility of Thames Water. But it is also obvious that keeping the drains clear means that flooding – whether from heavy rain or burst pipes – can be mitigated more effectively. This is a basic priority for the Council.

John White: Help for Hammersmith schools to start chess clubs

A guest post by John White, the PR Officer of the Hammersmith Chess Club

Hammersmith Chess was founded in 1962.

We meet most Monday nights at Lytton Community Hall near West Kensington Station. You can find more information on our website.

We welcome chess players of all strengths from beginners to strong experienced players. With over sixty members, our club reflects the cosmopolitan environment that is Hammersmith.

We are a very active club with participation in three different chess leagues, internal competitions, training evenings and special event evenings -all open to the members. Currently, we run eight chess teams giving all our members ample opportunity to play competitive games and gain an official chess rating.

The club is also active internationally with a visit to an Amsterdam chess club last June and a coming one to Cork in June this year. Indeed, later in the same month we will be hosting visitors from both clubs for a chess weekend in Hammersmith.

Last year we ran a chess event in Lyric Square in support of Hammersmith MIND that raised £400 for that very important organisation. We will be repeating the event on the 19th May this year, and hope to raise even more money. I must mention Helen Pinnington and the events team at Fulham & Hammersmith Council who have been tremendously supportive in this matter.

We strongly believe in chess as an educational aid that has been demonstrated to help children perform better, academically, at school. If any school in Hammersmith needs help with setting up a chess club or any advice please feel free to contact us,

If you have an interest in chess whether casual or serious, please come down to the club and pay us a visit. The first visit is free and the tea and biscuits are on us.

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