Campaigners: Breast cancer green light will ‘stretch’ Redbridge hospital

A GREEN light to plans which will see King George Hospital become a hub for breast cancer care in north east London has been met with a wave of anger from campaigners, who claim it will stretch the hospital to “breaking point”.

Breast cancer surgery at Queen’s Hospital will go while pre-surgery procedures will no longer be carried out at Victoria Hospital, Romford.

Those services will be moved into King George, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, which will become a “centre of excellence” for breast cancer care.

Campaigned have lobbied the health trust to back down from its plans, claiming they would put big strains on King George.

Angela Chapman, chairman of the Breast Cancer SOS Group – set up to fight the proposals – said: “I suffered breast cancer myself last year and experienced wonderful care at both Queen’s and Victoria.

“If there is any cuts in services it could be fatal. I find it totally unacceptable that the trust managers at Queen’s are prepared to compromise lives.”

Also raising questions about the consultation carried out, the 41-year-old added: “King George is full to capacity and I don’t see how it’s going to manage. It’s totally alarming.”

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Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust carried out what it calls a two month “public engagement exercise” on the shake-up, which will cost up to �250,000.

In a nod to some of the disapproval, it is keeping outpatient clinics at Victoria Hospital.

Trust medical director Dr Ian Abbs said: “The specialist team of five breast surgeons, nurses, anaesthetists and other clinicians will be able to provide the highest standards of care at King George Hospital.

“We will be able to invest in new facilities and new equipment that just wouldn’t be possible in a more fragmented service.

“This is excellent news for people with or at risk of breast cancer from across a very wide region of outer north east London and south west Essex, who will have a breast cancer centre of excellence.”