May 25 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Campaigners attempting to stop the closure of maternity services at King George Hospital are awaiting a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into standards at Queen’s Hospital.
The commission carried out an unannounced inspection of the maternity department of Queen’s, in Romford, last month.
A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, said it was expecting “positive feedback” after inspectors looked at staffing levels, equipment, standards of care and patient experience.
Expectant mothers will have to go to Queen’s, in Rom Valley Way, instead of King George, in Goodmayes, to give birth by the end of April 2013.
Some women may also have to travel to other hospitals, including Whipps Cross, in Leytonstone.
Havering councillor Paul McGeary has been campaigning with the Save King George Hospital group to stop the change.
They met at Queen’s Hospital last month to show their opposition.
He said: “We feel they are trying to rush the changes to meet a very tight cost envelope; and we do feel these are changes rather than improvements which will have an adverse affect on Queen’s.
“Some women will have to travel very far to be seen; health needs need to be addressed locally.”
Redbridge councillor Andy Walker added: “With the rising population in east London it doesn’t seem wise to cut the number of maternity services.
“It seems strange that the CQC is investigating services so close to the date when the King George unit is due to close.
“Surely it would have been better to do the report earlier in the day.”
The Department of Health is expected to take the CQC’s findings into account when finalising the transfer of maternity services.
Failings in emergency care and maternity at Queen’s were uncovered by the CQC after an inspection in 2011.
In June last year, the CQC found standards had improved, with the trust having completely met 27 out of the 81 recommendations set and partly met 48 others.