August 22 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Blewett, Report
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
An “out of the blue” decision may mean that a hospital A&E will remain open beyond its provisional closure year of 2015.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell welcomed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s Wednesday announcement that King George A&E in Goodmayes will not close “for the foreseeable future”.
Conservative Mr Rosindell said this would hold off an increase in what is already an “enormous pressure” on Queen’s Hospital in Romford.
But Havering’s Labour leader Cllr Keith Darvill termed it a “political decision” made just before the local elections.
In a statement, Mr Hunt, said: “The NHS locally has always been clear that changes to the A&E service at King George Hospital will not be made until there are further improvements in the quality of emergency care, and when more work has taken place to reduce the need for hospital attendance and give care closer to home.
“However, there is still work to do and we do not expect the trust to be ready to make the changes for the foreseeable future.”
A 2013 report, by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, suggested the A&E would close in 2015.
Mr Rosindell heralded the news as “good for local people”.
He said: “It’s come out of the blue but it’s very good news. The pressure on Queen’s is enormous and by closing the A&E at King George’s would have put on even further pressure.”
But he said he was not committed to keeping the hospital open for good.
“I’m not wedded to a particular hospital but I want to see excellent health services across the board for everyone,” he said.
But Cllr Darvill said: “It only proves what we have been saying - that there isn’t sufficient emergency care in the area.
“It’s a political decision made just before the local election - a decision about the hospital should be made on need in the area not on short-term politics.”
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