Patient’s plea to save specialist Romford clinic

� Sixteen years ago Victoria Palmer was unable to do anything for herself.

She was bedridden and could not walk or feed herself. Now 30, Victoria is engaged, and lives in her own flat in Widecombe Close, Harold Hill.

She credits her turnaround to the care she received at an under-threat clinic in Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

Victoria suffers from severe chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition where victims experience excessive tiredness and other symptoms, including muscle pain.

She spent six months as an inpatient at the specialist six-bed Queen’s unit – the national centre for the condition – where she received the “remarkable care” that taught her how to manage her condition.

But patients have been told the unit is under review and a decision will be made on its future next month in light of declining numbers of local referrals and better at-home help.

Victoria is urging hospital bosses to save the clinic that “saved” her.

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She said: “If the decision is taken to end the inpatient service, it will have devastating consequences. From personal experience this is not a condition that, when severe, can be managed at home.”

A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “With the retirement of our lead consultant and associate specialist, who have developed and delivered this service, we have to review whether we can continue to offer this type of care.”

The review would mean Queen’s could instead offer better facilities for those with head injuries