King George Hospital A&E closure debated in House of Commons

Mike Gapes

Mike Gapes - Credit: Archant

A Labour MP made the case for an A&E department to remain open at a debate in the House of Commons.

Ilford South’s Mike Gapes called on the government to stop the department at King George Hospital, Baley Lane, Goodmayes, from downgrading.

The Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust (BHRUT) plan will see the department replaced with a 24-hour urgent care centre, making Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, the borough’s closest A&E department.

Mr Gapes said that the future of the hospital continued to remain uncertain whilst the trust remained in special measures.

He said: “If, because of improved management, the situation improves later in the year and the trust comes out of special measures, will that mean — I suspect it will — that there will then be moves to close the A&E at King George because the trust is no longer in special measures?

“There is not the capacity at Queen’s to deal with that. It will take years, considerable cost, and millions of pounds of investment on the Queen’s hospital site before Queen’s hospital is ready to cope with this situation.”

Under-secretary of state for health Ben Gummer said: “I accept that uncertainty is created at the King George site and that the effect of that is potentially destabilising.

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“However, the decision was clinically led in the first place, so to go against it would be to go against a clinical decision after several reviews. “The honourable gentleman is therefore suggesting that we make a political intervention against a decision made by doctors.”

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