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‘We must keep up pressure on Trust’ says council leader ahead of Save King George Hospital debate

PUBLISHED: 14:33 19 September 2012

The future of a hospital’s A&E and maternity services will be debated tomorrow evening by Redbridge Council after a petition appealing against the decision drew 2,500 signatures.

The motion calling on the council to oppose the planned closures of the two units at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, will be heard at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

The Save King George Hospital campaign group wants the council to write to the government seeking that the 2011 decision to close the units be withdrawn.

Campaigners want the proposals to be reviewed against the outcome of the Census and the demographic changes in Redbridge.

Leader of the council Cllr Keith Prince said: “Since the decision, as I understand it, a number of things have changed and we must keep up the pressure on the trust [Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust], who are not meeting their targets.

“Frankly this debate has got to be a good thing and I will be quizzing the trust at the next health scrutiny meeting.”

Cllr Prince added: “Some councillors are more keen than others to keep revisiting this topic and I personally believe it is important to keep it on the agenda and in the public eye.”

The services at present are set to be moved to Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford although there are currently no dates for the transfer.

Cabinet member for health, Cllr John Fairley-Churchill, said: “We welcome the opportunity to receive petitions from the public.

“As a result of previous debates on this matter the council has made representations to the government and it is proposed in the council report to do so again.”

Cllr Fairley-Churchill added: “The final decision-making is outside the direct control of the council but clearly the council would expect its views to be taken into account when such a proposal is being considered and ultimately implemented.”

Cllr Andy Walker, who has campaigned against the transfer of services, said: “We need to lobby the secretary of state to review the decision because of recent developments.

“They want to put in a building at Queen’s that was never in the original plan, it’s going to cost large sums of money.”

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