Plans to overhaul west London hospitals approved

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Media captionImperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said the plans would improve clinical outcomes and patient experience

More than half of Charing Cross Hospital will be sold after plans to overhaul health services in west London were approved.

At a board meeting, the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust voted through the plans to sell 55% of the site.

Units including neurosurgery, stroke and urology will also "move out" of the hospital.

The trust said there were no plans to close the A&E department, but opponents believe it will be downgraded.

'Emergency services'

In relation to the A&E, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust said it was waiting for "further guidance from NHS England to guide the development of emergency services appropriate for a local hospital".

Under the plans, the current Charing Cross Hospital building would be replaced with a £150m development. New, purpose-built facilities would also be built at St Mary's.

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Image caption The Western Eye Hospital will also be sold

In a statement, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: "The clinical strategy considered today is designed to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience, to help people stay as healthy as possible and to increase access to the most effective specialist care."

The trust added the proposals were still subject to central approval from the NHS Trust Development Authority.

Under the plans there would be a 24-hour urgent care centre at Charing Cross but the number of in-patient beds would fall from 360 to 24.

The Western Eye Hospital and 45% of St Mary's would also be sold.

'Population expansion'

Earlier, about 50 protesters demonstrated against the plans outside Hammersmith Hospital, in west London.

Image caption About 50 protesters demonstrated against the plans outside Hammersmith Hospital

Speaking at the protest, Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, said patients would suffer.

"There is a massive population expansion going on in this part of west London and yet they are closing both A&Es. This is very short-sighted and it is going to cost lives," he said.

On 10 September the trust's Hammersmith A&E will close, with it being downgraded to a 24-hour urgent care centre for walk-in patients, while emergency patients will be redirected to St Mary's in Paddington.

Over the past three years, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has saved £127m but needs to cut £207m from its budget by 2019.

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