The most significant proposed acute services reconfiguration in England has been approved by commissioners.
A joint board of NHS North West London, a cluster of eight primary care trusts, last week approved a plan that will see three accident and emergency departments downgraded and other services centralised.
Full A&E services will be removed from Central Middlesex, Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals.
All three will retain urgent care centres open 24 hours every day. However, specifications of what they will provide have not yet been published. The plans were detailed by HSJ in March 2012 last year.
It was previously thought Ealing Council may issue a legal challenge to the commissioners’ process or decision. However, it has not yet done so.
The local authority said it believed the urgent care centre at Ealing hospital on the site “will be virtually identical” to the “re-modelled A&E” proposed last month for Lewisham hospital, in south east London.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has claimed a victory in relation to Charing Cross Hospital, saying its campaign had led NHS North West London to drop plans to remove further services from the site.
It comes as Lewisham Council considers whether to bring a judicial review of proposals made by a special administrator for changes to Lewisham Hospital.
In a statement on Monday the council said health secretary Jeremy Hunt had sent it a “detailed response” to a letter which raised concerns, which it was still considering.
HSJ reported last week that the College of Emergency Medicine had written to the NHS Commissioning Board to say that what was proposed to replace Lewisham A&E “doesn’t meet our definition of an ED [emergency department]”.
The college’s president Mike Clancy said there was a “lack of clarity” around the Lewisham proposals.
Information provided to HSJ