Thousands sign petition against services closure at Havering trust hospital

The future of King George Hospital’s A&E and maternity services will be debated by a council after a petition drew 2,500 signatures.

The services are set to move to Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, which it is feared will not cope with the extra influx of patients.

Campaigners gathered outside Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford, on Friday.

They want the Redbridge Council to write to the government requesting the decision to close the two units at the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, be withdrawn.

The motion will now be debated a council meeting at the town hall on September 20.

Neil Zammett, writing on the Save King George Hospital campaign’s website, said a Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held last month had revealed a 2014 transfer is being considered.

Plans for a new building at Queen’s to “improve workflow in the [A&E] department” are also being considered.

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Cllr Andy Walker, who has campaigned against the transfer of services, said: “We need to lobby the secretary of state to review the decision because of recent developments.

“They want to put in a building at Queen’s that was never in the original plan.

“It’s going to cost large sums of money.

“Why do that when there’s a perfectly good hospital at King George?”

A Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) spokesman said there are no dates in place for the transfer of services between the two hospitals.

She said: “We are concentrating on continuing to improve care for our patients.

“It has been made clear that no changes will be made until we, and our partners, are confident that we are providing the very highest quality care.

“We are looking at extending the A&E department at Queen’s, but this is still in the very early stages.

“Plans would have to go through several approval processes before funding was released centrally.”

The motion will be debated at the town hall on September 20.