Doctors’ support for hospital proposal ‘clearly not true’

GPs’ support for plans to close nearby A&E and maternity wards has been called into question by MPs.

Health service provider ONEL and Health for North East London (Health4NEL) claimed local GPs supported the closure of the units in King George Hospital, in Goodmayes, announced in 2009.

But when MPs Jon Cruddas, Dagenham and Rainham, Margaret Hodge, Barking, sent questionnaires to all GP practices in Barking and Dagenham, of the 51 contacted, all but one doctor said they strongly opposed the closure.

Dagenham and Rainham MP Mr Cruddas added: “Local GPs in Dagenham and Rainham have made clear that the pressures from closing King George Hospital’s A&E will be too great.

“It’s time to listen to patients and medical professionals and keep this service open.”


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Barking MP Mrs Hodge said: “This proves that ONEL have not been honest. They have been going around claiming local GPs support their plans and clearly that is absolutely not true.”

A Health4NEL consultation of GPs in October and November 2010 found that of the 56 per cent of practices that completed a feedback form, 70 per cent supported the vision but with concerns about how the proposals would be implemented. Thirty per cent opposed the plans.

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A spokeswoman said: “The NHS listened to the concerns of the public, GPs and other stakeholders and agreed that no changes should happen until the right workforce and resources are in place.

“We would like to see the details of the survey so that we can work with the GPs who have concerns.”

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