Wanstead ward closures set to roll on ‘regardless’

Heronwood and Galleon wards in Makepeace Road, Wanstead. Picture: Google Street View

Heronwood and Galleon wards in Makepeace Road, Wanstead. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Plans to shut rehab wards are under way despite the closure being referred to the secretary of state.

In a letter to stakeholders, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it was going ahead with plans to phase out intermediate care beds at the Heronwood and Galleon wards in Makepeace Road, Wanstead.

The letter, on behalf of Dr Jagan John, Dr Gurdev Saini and Mehul Mathukia, confirmed that health minister Jeremy Hunt had asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) to assess the plans.

The CCG said it was “obviously very disappointed” as the panel could halt the move to King George Hospital, Goodmayes. However, it went on say: “After considering advice from NHS England and in line with our priority to provide the safest care for our patients over winter, we will continue with our plans to deliver improved care.

“So we are continuing with the phased beds centralisation.”

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Campaigner Helen Zammett, of the Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Alliance (WASRA) – which is against the move – said the situation was “ridiculous”.

“They’re carrying on regardless. If they can ignore the secretary of state, what chance do we have? It’s all there in black and white.”

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The CCG said it was “cooperating fully” with the IRP in providing information for consideration.

A spokeswoman said: “Our plans are in the best interests of patients and when the evidence for improving healthcare for local people is so strong, GPs will always want to make those changes happen.”

The remaining beds are due to move to King George Hospital by the end of this month.

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