Politicians make unannounced visit to Romford Hospital

POLITICIANS concerned about changes to hospital services made an unannounced visit to Queen’s Hospital last week.

Barking MP Margaret Hodge and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes arrived at the hospital without informing staff and listened to patients – who gave the hospital the thumbs-up.

Daagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas had also planned to attend but was delayed on the way.

The politicians believe the Romford hospital would struggle to cope with the influx of extra patients generated by the closure of the A&E and maternity departments at King George Hospital, Goodmayes, and have launched a campaign to overturn the decision.

During their rounds, they chatted with patients, asking how long they had been waiting – to which the response was a positive “not long”.

After the visit, Mrs Hodge said: “It was not busy this morning so the A&E was fine. My concern is how they would cope with a big increase in patients.”

She said that one of her biggest concerns was for the maternity services: “I don’t believe Queen’s will be able to cope the demand if the unit at King George closes.”

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A trust spokesman said they were “delighted” to show the MPs around the hospital and “talk them through the improvements which have been made in patient care”.

She said: “New systems in A&E – with patients being seen by a consultant as soon as they arrive by ambulance – are working well, and Mrs Hodge and Mr Gapes could see for themselves a much calmer environment in our emergency department.

“It was pleasing that none of the patients spoken to by Mrs Hodge and Mr Gapes in A&E and maternity had any complaints about the care they have received or the time they had to wait.”