Two women turned away from Queen’s Hospital maternity department after it closes for four hours

15:42 05 June 2014

Queen's Hospital, Romford

Queen's Hospital, Romford


Two pregnant women were turned away from the Queen’s Hospital maternity unit when the department became full and closed for four hours in April, it has emerged.

Andy WalkerAndy Walker

The Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT) board published the information about the Romford hospital closing at a monthly board meeting on Wednesday.

Today, the BHRUT confirmed the hospital had closed on April 29 for a total of four hours.

Wendy Matthews, the hospital’s director of midwifery, said the move to close a maternity department is “normal” in London, adding Queen’s had closed its unit once already this year.

The decision was made because of a high number of women going into labour in the unit at the time.

Ms Matthews said: “This practice is normal across all London maternity departments.

“Within the last year, the unit has had to divert on two occasions.”

According to Ms Matthews, the Queen’s maternity unit had to close 10 times per month three years ago.

Andy Walker, a member of the campaign group Save King George Hospital, which the BHRUT also runs, attended the public meeting this week.

He said: “We cannot have pregnant women turning up at maternity units and being told the department is shut.”

The focus on services at Queen’s Hospital in Rom Valley Way, has increased after the maternity unit at King George Hospital in Barley Lane closed last year.

In her statement, Ms Matthews added re-opening King George’s maternity unit “would not be justified for the very few occasions” when the unit is forced to close because of overcrowding.

Jas Athwal, leader of the Redbridge Labour party, described the news as an “absolute shock”.

He added: “Queen’s was built for 300,000 people in mind but now it has to cope with 800,000 - it is not right.

“We need to look at the value that King George is offering. Both Havering and Redbridge are suffering at the moment.”

Were you one of the women turned away from Queen’s Hospital? Have you ever been turned away in the past? Please call the newsdesk on 0208 477 3821


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Children planted trees in the new raised beds for the opening of the Tired Tree

A new nursery opened this week offering the community a place to learn and play after finishing the first phase of renovation works.

Natasha Sawkins and Juliet Thomas who started the petition. Picture: Kika Mitchell Photography.

A campaign to remove the “derogatory and stereotypical” ‘Essex Girl’ definition from the dictionary has gained huge momentum after thousands signed up to a petition.

Pumpkin farmer Ray Chapman

A farmer and a garden centre are making the most of the growing demand for pumpkins at this time of year.

Dead koi at a farm in Collier Row. Picture Crown copyright.

An outbreak of fish herpes has been confirmed in Collier Row.

A man was assaulted in Millbrook Gardens, Romford. Photo: Google Maps

A 59-year-old maintenance engineer has been left traumatised after being randomly beaten up in his van by two men.

Rosewood Medical Centre, Astra Close, Hornchurch. Picture: Google Maps.

Thousands of patients registered with a doctor’s practice will be automatically transferred to a different surgery following the retirement of a GP.


A proposal to install an ice rink in market place over the Christmas period is due to be considered by a council committee tonight (Thursday).

Yesterday, 16:46

A 1940s tea party was organised to raise awareness about dementia.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now