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Heronwood and Galleon wards in Wanstead to be closed by April

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 September 2015

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

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Healthcare bosses have confirmed that a hospital will finally close its doors by April – more than a year after the plan was announced.

Helen Zammett, of the Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Alliance (WASRA) – which is against the move – said it had been “left out in the cold” as Redbridge Clinical Commisiioning Group (CCG) confirmed it planned to phase out intermediate care beds at the Heronwood and Galleon wards in Makepeace Road, Wanstead.

The plan involves centralising services at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, with the CCG only confirming when the changes would be implemented this week – more than nine months after the closures were decided.

Helen said: “I believe the CCG didn’t have a viable plan. You have got to decide where it’s going to go – you don’t leave it for all that time without thinking about it.

“They said we would be involved, but what happened to that? They just haven’t communicated.

“We have been left out in the cold – the whole thing is a lashup.”

In an email to stakeholders, the CCG said up to 61 beds would be moved to King George Hospital in total – its Foxglove ward has already taken on some of the beds.

More beds will be moved to the Japonica ward by the end of December – during which, work will be undertaken in the vacant Jasmine ward to provide “full access to a rehabilitation environment”.

The CCG hopes all 61 beds will be moved to Foxglove, Japonica and Jasmine wards by April.

The campaigner believes King George “has a long way to go” before it can reach the same standards of care in Wanstead.

“Foxglove isn’t suitable for intermediate care,” said Mrs Zammett. “It’s on the first floor and patients can’t wander out into the gardens.”

A Redbridge CCG spokeswoman said: “Our plans will not, as claimed, compromise services, but instead have already delivered improved care for tens of thousands of patients across Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham and – crucially – a rehab bed for any patient who needs one.”


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