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King George A&E must remain open not just for ‘foreseeable future’, Redbridge Labour group says

15:39 20 May 2014

King George Hospital

King George Hospital

Archant

The news King George A&E is to remain open “for the foreseeable future” has been met with calls to save the unit for good by the Redbridge Labour group.

Cllr Jas Athwal, the Redbridge Labour leader, and Cllr Wes Streeting, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Ilford North, have called on the government to abandon plans to close King George A&E altogether.

Cllr Streeting has warned the “cynically timed announcement to delay the closure” does not go far enough.

Tuesday’s announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt comes just 48 hours before the local elections.

Cllr Streeting, the deputy leader of the Redbridge Labour Group, said: “Having already closed our maternity unit, the government knew that they wouldn’t get away with rushing through the closure of A&E in the middle of the current crisis affecting the local NHS trust.

“This announcement is a cynically timed pre-election stunt. The Tories have simply delayed their closure plans. We will not stop fighting until they abandon their plans completely.”

Cllr Athwal added the decision was made because Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, “was not up to scratch”.

If King George’s A&E were to close, the unit would be moved to Queen’s Hospital more than five miles away.

“The only reason King George is staying open is because Queen’s is still not fit for purpose,” he added.

“Queen’s still falls short when it comes to waiting times.”

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