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Thousands sign petition condemning plans to cut beds in new Whipps Cross Hospital

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 February 2020

Campaigners from Waltham Forest Save Our NHS delivered a petition to DoH with 5,703 signatories condemning plans to cut beds in new Whipps Cross Hospital. Picture: Waltham Forest Save Our NHS

Campaigners from Waltham Forest Save Our NHS delivered a petition to DoH with 5,703 signatories condemning plans to cut beds in new Whipps Cross Hospital. Picture: Waltham Forest Save Our NHS

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Thousands of east Londoners signed a petition to demand safe bed numbers for the new Whipps Cross Hospital.

Campaigners displayed hearts as part of their protest, to show their love for their local hospital. Picture: Waltham Forest Save Our NHSCampaigners displayed hearts as part of their protest, to show their love for their local hospital. Picture: Waltham Forest Save Our NHS

The petition, which was signed by 5,703 people across north east London, was handed over to officials at the Department of Health and Social Care on Friday, February 14, demanding a commitment by Barts Health Trust to adequately fund the new Whipps Cross Hospital, once it's built.

According to the study Transforming Services Together conducted by the Centre for Health and Public Interest in 2016 said that hospitals across Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Whipps Cross, would need an additional 240 beds to meet demand.

Campaigners from Waltham Forest Save Our NHS and other supporters from across the area delivered the petition on Valentine's Day holding three large red hearts.

Helly McGrother, campaign spokeswoman and Whipps Cross patient, said: "We are displaying hearts on Valentine's Day to show our love for our local hospital - but we have a serious message to the government about providing enough beds, adequate A&E services and the right clinical specialisms for our growing population.

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"We know the NHS is at breaking point. We don't want to see our sick family and friends waiting in ambulances or stuck on trolleys in corridors because there are not enough beds."

Barts Health was given £350million last year to build the new hospital, one of six to benefit from £2.7billion of funding for new health infrastructure to be built over the next five years.

Redbridge was not one of the boroughs to get funding for more healthcare investment and councillors in the borough expressed disappointment at the lack of funding.

Helly said the building of the new hospital was a unique opportunity for the government to listen to the community and scrutinise the plans carefully and properly fund the hospital.

A spokeswoman for Whipps Cross Hospital said: "We continue to work with our local health and social care partners to develop our plans for a new hospital at Whipps Cross.

"Key to this will be ensuring the right services are put in place to best meet the future health needs of our population, across not just a new hospital but also the wider primary and community services around it."

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