King George Hospital cuts: Health chief to lead changes

Health chiefs are preparing to implement the closure of King George Hospital’s A&E and maternity departments with a shuffle of senior staff.

Outer North East London NHS Chief Executive Heather Mullin, is to step out of her current role and lead on developing plans for the eventual closure of the departments for Health for North East London (HFNEL).

Alwen Williams, Chief Executive of NHS East London and the City, will take over Mrs Mullins’ role from December 5.

He said: “She (Heather) and I have worked together closely for many years in north east London. We were joint senior responsible officers for the Health for north east London programme and we welcome the recent approval of these proposals by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.

“He has been very clear that once the quality and safety concerns have been addressed, we need to move ahead with implementation as soon as possible.”

The announcement comes after last month’s controversial decision made by health secretary Andrew Lansley to shut the maternity and A&E departments, but not before improvements are made.

An independent report released the same day the closure announcements were made, recognised patients at the hospital were still at “risk of poor care”.