Appointment changes during Olympics spark concerns over impact on Redbridge NHS services

A Barkingside couple are concerned the Olympics may be having an impact on local NHS services after regular appointments during the Games were rearranged.

The husband, who did not want to be named, said he and his wife are receiving psychiatric treatment at Mellmead House in Wanstead.

A letter seen by the Recorder shows one appointment was moved from during the Games period on August 2 to days before the opening ceremony.

The other was rearranged for the end of next month – after the end of the Olympics.

The man said: “I think it’s going to have a big effect on people with mental health problems because if they are cancelling appointments willy-nilly it can be very stressful.”

The letter said the change was due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

A spokeswoman from the North East London NHS Foundation Trust said this can be caused by doctor training of staff absence.

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She added: “We have undertaken some extensive planning work to ensure the anticipated impact of the additional traffic and transport congestion on our service users travelling to their appointments during the London 2012 Olympics is kept to a minimum.

“This has involved the rescheduling of a small number of non-urgent outpatient appointments during the Olympic Games period.”

But the patient said he does not think the event will have a big effect on Redbridge.

He added: “There could be problems with doctors getting to work but we’re in Redbridge, we’re nowhere near the Olympic park. I can’t see it affecting this area.”