‘Worst performance in a year’ at King George Hospital A&E after surge in demand

Save King George Hospital campaigners, residents and councillors outside the hospital.

Save King George Hospital campaigners, residents and councillors outside the hospital. - Credit: Archant

The casualty department at King George Hospital recorded its worst performance in almost a year last month after a “huge surge in demand”.

Pressure from the Christmas period continued into January, causing the percentage of people seen within four hours to fall below the target of 95 per cent.

Medical director Dr Mike Gill said: “Our hospitals’ A&E departments have been exceptionally busy recently, with 800 patients attending on one day in early January.

“January is usually a busy time for A&E, with more patients needing emergency care due to a combination of seasonal factors like flu and cold weather, and some people delaying visits to their GP over the Christmas period.

“We are introducing a range of actions to help us respond, working closely with local GPs, the ambulance service and social services.”

Last week, the Recorder reported that the number of people taken to King George by ambulance rose by four per cent last year to 17,832, including 879 “blue calls”, needing lights and sirens.

King George Hospital A&E is planned to close but NHS bosses said no move would be made “until it is safe to do so” in the wake of a damning Care Quality Commission report into the emergency department at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

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A spokesman for primary care trust NHS North East London and the City said plans to transfer services to Queen’s were “about improving things for patients” and providing “higher quality, safer care”.

He added: “We will also make sure that urgent care services across all hospitals are fully utilised so we can help people get the right care in the right place at the right time.”

The emergency department at the Romford hospital would be expanded. The strategy aims to give patients more specialised care at fewer hospitals.