Health campaigners call on Havering Council to petition Jeremy Hunt to review King George A&E closure
- Credit: Archant
Health campaigners have called upon Havering Council to formally request health secretary Jeremy Hunt reviews proposals that would close a nearby emergency department.
A public meeting was held at Romford Central Library in St Edward’s Way on Monday night, calling upon Havering Council to join neighbouring Redbridge in writing to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to ask him to review the decision to close King George Hospital’s A&E.
The accident and emergency department at the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes is set to be changed to an urgent care centre in 2019, with many campaigners saying the increased pressure on Queen’s Hospital will result in poorer local healthcare services.
But in last week’s copy of the Recorder, Havering Council leader Roger Ramsey penned a letter claiming the borough’s health landscape had changed since the proposals were first agreed in 2011, and that a review is now crucial.
He wrote: “A review is now critical to ensure the NHS plans for the future needs of residents in Havering and north east London, and should include reviewing current and future capacity of not only A&E emergency care for residents, but also GP services and other valued NHS amenities.
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“Residents in Havering and north east London deserve nothing less than world class health services, in the right place, at the right time – and that provide quality and clinically safe services.”
Save King George A&E campaigner Andy Walker organised Monday’s meeting, which was also broadcast live on Facebook, in the hopes of persuading Havering Council to formally petition the government for such a review.
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Mr Walker told the Recorder: “It’s a welcome boost to hear that Havering Council are also against the closure.
“What we would like to see now is that they, along with Barking and Dagenham, represent their constituents by saying they do not think this closure should go ahead.
“To my recollection it would be the first time the leaders of three separate boroughs had contacted the health minister in such a way.”
Councillor Keith Darvill also attended the meeting, and welcome the Labour representative of Heaton ward welcomed the news Havering was taking a stand against the closure.
He said: “It seems that, on top of the increasing population in our area and the number of new homes that are to be built, it is now essential that the public service infrastructure we have here in Havering is still in place to accommodate this.
“I think it is a welcome decision by the leader of the council to ask for a review and one that I think could hopefully make a big difference.”
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.
For more information, visit savekinggeorgehospital.blogspot.co.uk