A major public information campaign was launched on Monday 28 July 2014 to tell people about changes to Accident and Emergency (A&E) services at two hospitals in North West London.
Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals will both close their A&E departments on Wednesday 10 September 2014.
Both hospitals will still have GP led Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on site. UCCs are for people with minor illnesses and injuries that are urgent but not life-threatening. This includes cuts which might need stitches, sprains and strains, minor burns and minor infections.
The changes are part of wider plans, called Shaping a Healthier Future, to improve access to healthcare services, waiting times and health outcomes for the two million people who live in North West London. The changes include the concentration of A&E services to ensure better access to more specialised care for people when they need it the most.
The public information campaign will run for at least 10 weeks and during that time will include:
Mark Spencer, medical director for Shaping a Healthier Future said: “These changes are part of a five year programme to invest in community services and hospital care to improve the care patients get when they need it most.
“In an emergency, people still need to do the same as they always should do: dial 999. The ambulance crew will begin treating you as soon as they get there and will then take you to the best place for your care. That may be an A&E, a specialist centre for heart, stroke or trauma or an Urgent Care Centre.
“The Urgent Care Centres at both Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals can treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses and are already open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“This campaign will inform the public, over a ten week period, that the A&E departments at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith Hospitals are closing and will also provide information on the 24/7 Urgent Care Centres at both sites which will continue to treat patients with minor injuries and illness. You can call 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
”We’ve listened to all the patient and public feedback in testing the advertising campaign and will continue to inform and listen throughout the rest of the campaign.”
For more information, visit www.nwlondonemergencycare.nhs.uk.