Hands off our Hospital: 11,000 signatures in Goodmayes services fight

More than 11,000 signatures against plans to close King George Hospital’s A&E and the labour ward have been collected.

Parliament will soon be scrutinising the petition before a date is given for it to be formally presented in the Commons to secretary of state for health Andrew Lansley.

The petition is part of the effort by campaigners to overturn proposals to close services at the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

Mr Lansley has already ordered a full review into the plans, which is being carried out by the independent reconfiguration panel (IRP).

It has until July 22 to present its findings, but they will only be made public when Mr Lansley makes a final decision, expected before the end of August.

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The majority of the signatures have been collected across Redbridge in the last six weeks.

Petition co-ordinator Helen Zammett said: “The response has been overwhelming. At times I’ve been outside Ilford station with eight clipboards going.”

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Ilford North Conservative MP Lee Scott will present the petition in Parliament, flanked by MPs including Labour Ilford South MP Mike Gapes.

On Friday, Mr Gapes joined campaigners outside Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, to collect more signatures from passers-by.

Meanwhile, Mrs Zammett met six members of the IRP on Monday to share her views on the impact the closure plans could have on the borough and its neighbours.

Campaigner Cllr Andy Walker said: “We’ve got a rising population with growing health needs. That’s all the more reason for us to have more staff if anything rather than less.”

Post petition sheets to Mrs Zammet, 9 Gloucester Road, Wanstead, E11 2ED.

TTo read Health for North East London’s proposals in full, log on to www.health4nel.nhs.uk

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