Redbridge Council votes to campaign for King George A&E to stay

An Independent councillor fighting to keep the A&E unit at King George Hospital open said “a step forward” has been taken by Redbridge Council who agreed to campaign against its proposed closure.

Cllr Andy Walker, ward councillor for Chadwell, organised a deputation, led by six pensioners, at Thursday’s’s full council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

The 55 councillors present - excluding Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Felicity Banks who abstained - voted unanimously to campaign for A&E services to stay at the hospital in Barley Lane and for the return of the maternity provision - moved in March to Queen’s Hospital in Romford and surrounding facilities.

Speaking to the Recorder afterwards, Cllr Walker (Ind, Chadwell) said: “It was a step forward because this is the first time the council have campaigned to keep the A&E.

“There is now a process on how we are going to keep the A&E open.”

Cllr Walker now wants reports to be sent to the council on how KGH is performing, so the council can work with the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust to improve it.

On Friday Cllr Walker made this request to the council and is awaiting a response to see if it will become a motion for January’s full council meeting.

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Cllr Wes Streeting (Lab, Chadwell), who seconded Cllr Walker’s motion, said: “We have lost our maternity unity and our A&E unit is earmarked for closure - the more you gut it, the more it looks like a polyclinic.”

Pauline Broad, 83, and blind, spoke about her fears of visiting Queen’s Hospital.

The former midwife said: “I live alone and I don’t have a carer. I am totally blind but I am independent - and that is what I want to maintain.

“If I have problem at King George Hospital I can feel my way to the desk, but at Queen’s I am not sure I can. I will be completely lost.”

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