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Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas column: The case for closing King George Hospital’s A&E has never been weaker

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 September 2017

Jon Cruddas and Jeremy Hunt

Jon Cruddas and Jeremy Hunt

Archant

The argument for closing the Accident and Emergency at King George Hospital in Goodmayes and switching services to Queen’s Hospital, Romford is in absolute tatters.

I have been banging on about this for over six years and, frankly, the case for closure has never been weaker.

Waiting times at Queen’s are already at unacceptable levels. In May just 77 per cent of patients were seen within four hours - way below the 95 per cent floor. Since then the figures have hobbled to 83 and 84 per cent.

The A&E at King George has a better record but is still repeatedly falling below the floor. How on earth its closure is going to improve the performance at Queen’s is beyond my, or any sane person’s, imagination.

Furthermore, Queen’s is already under immense pressure and is only just out of special measures. Closing King George will undermine Queen’s progress since coming out of special measures. It simply won’t have the capacity to deal with an increase in patients of that size.

The truth is all the housing development and regeneration in Dagenham, South Hornchurch, Rainham and Elm Park over the next few years means we need more public services for people - as the population grows - not less.

I have written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to demand an urgent review. I am also pleased to see that the council leaders of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, and Redbridge are doing the same.

Save King George A&E campaigners will be holding a march on October 14 from Dagenham Central Park to Redbridge Town Hall via Queen’s hospital in Rom Valley Way to protest against the proposed closure. Please come along if you can and show how important this issue is to the people of North East London.

If the community stands together I firmly believe we can stop this folly.

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