King George A&E changes ‘will take several years’

A HEALTH chief admitted last night that services in the Redbridge and surrounding districts were struggling to meet demand and changes to King George Hospital would not happen overnight.

A public meeting heard Health for North East London programme director Helen Brown outline the plans for the Barley Lane, Goodmayes hospital which would include closing the accident and emergency unit.

But Ms Brown admitted: “Clearly the system is struggling with the demands at the moment. It would take several years - say five years - to get where we propose to be.”

Ms Brown was joined on a panel at the meeting at Broadmead Baptist Church, Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, by divisional director for surgery Stephen Burgess, divisional director for women and children Carol Drummond and clinical director for outer north east London Dr Ken Aswani.

Ilford North MP Lee Scott, who organised the meeting, revealed he had met with Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley earlier in the day. Mr Lansley had told Mr Scott when the Joint Primary Care Trust had made its decision at a meeting in Stratford on Wednesday Redbridge Council could “call it in” - asking Mr Lansley to review it.

More on the meeting later.