Health bosses ‘determined to close Goodmayes A&E’ MP says

A PANEL of health representatives who have been given the task of deciding the fate of King George Hospital’s A&E department look set to agree in principal to closing it, an MP has said.

A decision is due to be made on the future of emergency and maternity care at the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, at a meeting of the joint committees of primary care trusts on Wednesday.

But MP for Ilford South Mike Gapes said the intention was conveyed to him at a meeting with health representatives.

He said it did not seem that the panel would announce a time frame for the closure.

He said: “It seems to me that they are absolutely determined to go ahead with it and work out the small print later.

“They have disregarded the MPs and the public. They are determined to do it.”

He welcomed a protest outside Queen’s Hospital, Romford, on Sunday, which saw Redbridge and Havering councillors join together to make their case against the plans.

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Mr Gapes said: “It is encouraging that we have got such strong opposition.

“I’m going to be continuing to press for the meeting to reject the proposals.”

Chadwell Cllr Andy Walker, who has organised several protest marches for the campaign, said: “One A&E for 700,000 people doesn’t appear to add up.”

He said an urgent care centre was not a suitable replacement.

He added: “What clinicians will tell you is patients who are treated at point of entry have a better survival rate than those transferred elsewhere. It suggests you need an A&E.”

Ilford North MP Lee Scott is also due to hold a meeting about the plans tonight (Thurs).

Two representatives from NHS Redbridge are due to be at the meeting at 8pm at Broadmead Baptist Church, Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, and it will be chaired by Recorder editor Chris Carter.

Helen Brown, Health for North East London programme director, said no decisions had yet been made and proposals would be considered at Wednesday’s Stratford meeting.