Consultation on Wanstead Hospital closure plans extended
PUBLISHED: 16:37 15 September 2014
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A public consultation on controversial plans that would see the closure of Wanstead Hospital has been extended by two weeks.
The Heronwood and Galleon unit at the Makepeace Road hospital would close under the proposals, with all 48 beds moving into King George in Goodmayes.
GPs from clinical commissioning groups in Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering are behind the “Making Intermediate Care Better” consultation.
It had been due to finish on October 1, but following an intervention from health minister Jane Ellison has been extended to October 15.
Local GP leaders said the consultation had been prolonged “due to the strength of feeling expressed by some stakeholders”.
The Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Alliance, which opposes the closure, has organised a meeting for Wednesday, at 7.30pm upstairs in The George pub in Wanstead High Street.
Currently there are 104 “intermediate care” beds provided across Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering including 48 at Wanstead, 26 at Gray’s Court in Dagenham and 30 at King George Hospital in Goodmayes.
Under plans they would be replaced with 40 beds at King George, increasing to 61 if needed, and two new teams to work with patients in the community instead of in hospital.
But the alliance fears the numbers will not be able to deal with the “growing increase in demand” of the ageing population.
It is also concerned over the implications of a future flu epidemic or a harsh winter.
GP Dr Mehul Mathukia, Redbridge CCG’s clinical director for integrated care, previously said: “We are suggesting these changes in order to make services better.
“We’ve known for a long time that too many people – especially older people – are staying for too long in hospital and community beds and this makes it harder for them to return home and live independently again.
“Most patients are very happy with the new services we have been trialling and we want to continue to offer them. At the same time, we are very clear that patients who need a community bed are still able to get one – and we think that the quality of care they will receive will be better as result.
“We really want to know what people think about our proposals.”
Wednesday’s public meeting will be attended by representatives from the Redbridge CCG, MP John Cryer, Redbridge Council cabinet member for health Cllr Wes Streeting and ward councillors.
To find out more contact Helen Zammett on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 989 8080.
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