Decision to close Redbridge hospital’s A&E and labour ward a ‘disaster’, says MP

The MP whose constituency surrounds King George Hospital has said he feels “betrayed” by the decision to close its A&E and labour ward.

Labour Ilford South MP Mike Gapes said it showed an “absolutely contemptuous attitude to local people’s wishes and concerns”.

Secretary of state for health Andrew Lansley said this afternoon he backed a recommendation by the independent reconfiguration panel to close both the A&E and labour ward at the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

But no timetable for the closures was given, with improvements needing to be made to existing services.

Mr Gapes told the Recorder: “I’m going to fight.

“I think it’s a disgraceful decision. I’m very angry.

“There will still be a fight to make sure people in Ilford get the services in Ilford they need.”

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He added: “I think these proposals will be a disaster.

“The health of many of my constituents will be badly affected by this decision.

“They [the independent reconfiguration panel] recognised the massive public opposition to the proposals but they then pushed them aside.

“If the proposals go through, Queen’s will have 9,000 births a year. There’s no way that’s possible.”

He added it would lead to a “disaster” at Queen’s because of the pressure it will be under.