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Ilford MPs call for reversal on decision to transfer King George A&E services following ‘damning’ CQC report

12:24 30 January 2013

Plans to transfer A&E services out of King George Hospital (KGH) must be shelved following the latest inspection of Romford’s Queen’s Hospital, according to Ilford’s MPs.

The Care Quality Commission judged the A&E department at the Romford hospital in Rom Valley Way as failing to protect the safety of patients in a report released today.

Under current plans, emergency services from KGH in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, would transfer to the under-pressure hospital, but Ilford South MP Mike Gapes said proposals “must be taken off the table”.

He said: “It’s absolutely damning and it confirms there’s absolultely no way that they can close KGH A&E.

“Queen’s is overwhelmed. It can’t cope.

“I challenged Jeremy Hunt [the secretary of state for health] earlier this month to reverse the decision of his predecessor Andrew Lansley and he refused.”

After previously raising concerns about A&E at Queen’s, CQC inspectors carried out unannounced visits in November and December.

They found patients faced long waits; some were inappropriately nursed on trolleys when they should have been in beds and they weren’t offered the “privacy and dignity they are entitled to”.

The CQC now plans to legally limit the number of people who can be admitted to the ‘majors’ part of its A & E, which treats those with serious illnesses or injuries, if patients already there have been waiting for too long.

A spokesperson for the local NHS clinical commissioning groups said this week: “Changes to A&E will only go ahead if and when it is safe to do so.

“We have no confirmed date for when any changes will happen.”

But Ilford North MP Lee Scott said: “The report on A&E is obviously damning.

“Therefore there’s no way they could possibly cope.

“I’ve seen the statement from BHRUT (Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust) that there’s no plans in the immediate future but I want it put out forever.”

Mr Scott said he has written to health minister Anna Soubry to call for the KGH decision to be looked at again.

Averil Dongworth, BHRUT’s chief executive, said: “Improving performance in our emergency departments is the biggest challenge that we face, and is the area that is receiving the most attention from all parts of the organisation.”

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