Search

Ilford MPs take health minister to task over the future of King George A&E

PUBLISHED: 11:05 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:05 11 July 2017

Sadiq visiting King George Hospital with Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes. Photo by Ellie Hoskins

Sadiq visiting King George Hospital with Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes. Photo by Ellie Hoskins

Archant

The future of King George Hospital’s A&E department remains no clearer after a parliamentary debate saw Ilford’s MPs grill health minister Philip Dunne last night.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes secured the end of day adjournment debate in the House of Commons yesterday on the future of the A&E department at the hospital, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes,

The debate saw Mr Gapes take the minister to task over the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), signed off in 2011 by then health secretary Andrew Lansley, which outlined plans to replace the A&E with an urgent care unit.

Numerous issues, such as a £586million healthcare funding deficit in north east London, plans to further slash the budget and a predicted 18pc population increase over the next 15 years were outlined by Mr Gapes.

He also highlighted the fact that, during the general election campaign earlier this year, health secretary Jeremy Hunt had promised King George’s A&E will not close “for the forseeable future”.

Mr Gapes said: “I do not know how big the crystal ball is. I do not know what kind of telescope the secretary of state has and which end he is looking through.

“The fact is that ‘foreseeable’ does not necessarily mean that the A&E will not close in 2019. If it is not going to close in the near future or even in the medium term, why not lift the cloud of uncertainty over the staff and over the planning process?”

Throughout the 30-minute debate Mr Dunne would not be drawn on, as he put it, “second guessing the conclusions of the STP”.

But the minister did congratulate BHRUT on getting out of special measures in March, but told Mr Gapes the STP system had been introduced “to encourage a more holistic approach to the future provision of NHS services”.

The health minister added: “We are absolutely clear that any significant service change that arises out of the implementation of STPs, if they get to that stage, must be subject to full public consultation.

“Proposals must meet the government’s four reconfiguration tests, which are support from clinical commissioners, clarity on the clinical evidence base, robust patient and public engagement, and support for patient choice.”

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting also attended, and told the health minister of the frustrations in Redbridge that healthcare groups are working towards a plan agreed more than five years ago.

Mr Streeting said: “I hope that the minister might be able to reverse that ministerial decision and remove the sword of Damocles from our A&E department.”

When pressed by Mr Streeting whether those in charge of the STP process would be forced to abide by the 2011 decision, Mr Dunne appeared to indicate that was not the case.

He said: “The process should be informed by the decisions taken in 2010, but it will be up to today’s STP leadership to decide what to do.”

Related articles

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

In this week’s heritage column, Hainault schoolboy Derek Hall remembers what it was like in east London as the Luftwaffe pulverised neighbourhoods and fighter pilots shot up residential streets.

Yesterday, 12:00

They say never meet your heroes. So I am at liberty to think of any of the winter Olympians as heroes – as I can’t afford a skiing holiday, our paths won’t cross.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 18:36

Redbridge residents will be paying £73.89 more in Council Tax next year after councillors agreed a rise of 5pc at a council meeting last night (Thursday, February 22).

PROMOTED CONTENT

Redbridge Estate agents Sandra Davidson’s hassle-free service guarantees rental income for your property, whether it is occupied or not. Here they share details of the Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it can help you avoid the regular stresses associated with managing a let.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now