Government approves King George A&E and maternity unit closures, but only when Queen’s is at a high standard

King George Hospital’s A&E and maternity unit will close but only when services at Queen’s Hospital is of a high standard, the government has decided

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has accepted a report from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel recommending the move.

The IRP believes that the closure will enable the provision of safe, sustainable and accessible services.

It said in a statement: “Attempting to provide safe, high quality A&E and maternity services at all six hospitals in north east London is not sustainable and the development of a major acute hospital at Queen’s Hospital will bring real benefits to patients.”

Dr Peter Barrett, chair of the IRP, said: “During our review we heard many personal accounts of poor healthcare experiences and it is clear that the status quo is not acceptable. Steps need to be taken immediately to improve services before large-scale change can take place which will bring real benefits to patients now and in the future.”

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Barking MP Margaret Hodge described the decision at “sheer madness”.

She said: “Any thought of closing the A&E and maternity services at King George hospital is sheer madness. At a time when Queens cannot cope with existing pressures it would be devastating for the healthcare my constituents receive.

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“Everybody must now focus all their energies on turning around these failing services and ensuring patients receive the basic standards of care they have a right to expect.”

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