Breaking news: Redbridge hospital’s A&E and labour ward will close

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to close King George Hospital’s A&E and labour ward have been approved tonight in a landslide vote.

To shouts of “stitch up” and “shame”, members of the joint committee of PCTs voted in favour of the plans which have been a focus of fierce opposition.

The committee, meeting in Stratford Old Town Hall, Stratford, heard from more than 15 members of the public each airing fears over the closures.

One powerful plea came from London Ambulance Service paramedic Jacqui Duly, who said parts of King George, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, were being closed by “stealth”.

She claimed Queen’s Hospital, Romford, was already struggling to cope with existing demand.

But the 20 voting members of the committee approved the plans, without a single vote against.

Redbridge Council’s health scrutiny committee will now have the power to defer the proposals to Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley for review.

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The committee has already indicated it will do so when it meets at the end of January.

For more reaction to the vote, log on to the Recorder in the morning.