Search

Council lawyers looking into legal challenge to stop King George Hospital A&E closure

14:45 05 August 2013

King George Hospital

King George Hospital

Archant

Redbridge Council lawyers are looking into the possibility of a legal challenge to stop the closure of King George Hospital’s A&E after the downgrading of services at Lewisham Hospital was overturned in court last week.

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince directed the lawyers to research courses of action following a letter from the Save King George Hospital group.

Campaigner Cllr Andy Walker wrote: “While the government has been given permission to appeal, it might be feasible for the council to lodge a claim and adjourn it pending the outcome of the Lewisham case.

“A number of London councils bringing claims at the High Court over A&E downgrades would send a powerful message to the government that MPs and councillors campaigning for units to remain open should be listened to.”

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and Lewisham Council took their case against the government to the High Court, where Justice Silber ruled that the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt MP, had acted outside his powers to cut A&E and maternity services.

The delivery ward at King George Hospital, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, has already been shut and A&E is due for the axe in 2015.

Cllr Prince cautioned that King George’s case was “very different” to Lewisham.

He added: “If we were in the same situation as Lewisham I would be happy to challenge the cuts in court but I don’t think we are.

“It’s worth looking into – personally I think it would be great if there was a straw to clutch at.”

In the Lewisham case, the decision to downgrade services was considered unlawful because it was made to save cash at an unconnected trust.

Mr Hunt decided to follow an administrator’s recommendation to limit services at Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust, which was solvent and not under review, to stem losses at the unconnected South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which is being dissolved.

But the decision to close A&E and the labour unit at King George Hospital was made in 2009 by the former Health for North East London as part of a review of six hospitals in its cluster.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which also runs Queen’s Hospital in Romford, has huge debts estimated at £150million last year.

Former health secretary Andrew Lansley said that King George’s A&E would not close until Queen’s, which had another damning CQC report last month, could safely take the extra numbers.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Ilford Lane in 2013 after Mariana Popa, a Romanian prostitute, was stabbed.

A councillor has criticised the police’s approach to tackling prostitution, after the recent discovery of another brothel in Goodmayes.

Yesterday, 15:00
Author Alan Simpson

Like the calm before the storm, the day was still and uneventful.

Yesterday, 12:00
Head of Redbridge Drama Centre Keith Homer

A Redbridge Drama Centre (RDC) play with almost no spoken words has been wowing international audiences in Belgium.

Yesterday, 09:00
Randy and Stephanie Masoner are set to release a book on their love story.

A Chippendale and an “Essex girl” are set to share their whirlwind love story in their debut book.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder