Date of Heronwood and Galleon wards closure ‘the big unknown’ says campaigner

Heronwood and Galleon wards in Snaresbrook, London on September 16, 2014. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Heronwood and Galleon wards in Snaresbrook, London on September 16, 2014. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson - Credit: Photo: Arnaud Stephenson

“Frustrated” campaigners have hit out at a hospital group after it confirmed that a date for the closure of two wards had not yet been set – months after it was announced.

Helen Zammett, of the Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Alliance (WASRA), has called the controversial move to shut the Heronwood and Galleon intermediate care wards in Makepeace Road, Wanstead, “the big unknown”.

Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced the planned closures and centralisation of services at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, in December last year.

Mrs Zammett said: “I don’t think they have a plan – we know absolutely nothing.

“We were told that we would be involved in the planning and taken on a tour – we were given big assurances.”

The concerns come after Healthwatch Redbridge published a report last month stating that some nursing staff were left “confused” about plans to shut the wards.

Mrs Zammett said: “As far as I’m aware Healthwatch hasn’t been given any information on it either.

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“When are these facilities going to be at King George?”

The campaigner says the issue will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the council’s health scrutiny committee on Wednesday, September 23.

A Redbridge CCG spokeswoman said: “Our patients come first and we will take as long as we need to make the agreed changes to intermediate care services safely and effectively, as planned.

“We expect to be able to update our stakeholders on the timeline for moving all community rehabilitation beds to King George Hospital in the coming weeks as plans are finalised.”

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