Wanstead Hospital closure decision could be referred to health secretary

Wanstead Hospital's Heronwood and Galleon units are facing closure. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Wanstead Hospital's Heronwood and Galleon units are facing closure. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson - Credit: Photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Campaigners hoping to save Wanstead Hospital want the decision over its future to be referred to health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Alliance (WASRA) is fighting against plans to close the Heronwood and Galleon intermediate care wards at the site.

At a public meeting at Wanstead Library yesterday, WASRA’s Helen Zammett said the group would be lobbying Redbridge Council to write to the secretary of state to ask him to refer the proposals to the independent reconfiguration panel.

Mrs Zammett told the meeting the reconfiguration panel “specialises in controversial proposals”.

More than 50 residents attended the event, which was organised by Healthwatch Redbridge to give feedback to the clinical commissioning group (CCG) ahead of the consultation closing tomorrow.

The group wants to cut the number of intermediate care beds – which provide intense rehabilitation for people after illnesses and operations – across Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham from 104 to 40, with the option to go up to 61 during busy periods.

The new unit would be centralised at King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

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The CCG claims the full number of beds are not necessary, with more patients being treated at home by two new community teams.

But the plans have met opposition from campaigners who fear the boroughs need more beds due to its ageing and increasing population.

To find out more and share your views, complete the questionnaire by 5pm on Wednesday October 15 at redbridgeccg.nhs.uk/intermediatecare.

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