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Patients voice their fears as Queen's Hospital announce renal unit closure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 May 2016

Queen's Hospital, Romford, where most of BHR's staff work

Queen's Hospital, Romford, where most of BHR's staff work

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Concerns have been raised that patients suffering from kidney diseases could face hour-long journeys to and from vital treatment sessions when the specialist renal care unit at Queen's Hospital closes.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), which runs Queen’s, moved to reassure patients after the Recorder contacted it yesterday (Thursday), saying it was determined to find a new site in Havering or its neighbouring boroughs.

The trust reportedly notified Barts Trust, who run the unit, that they wish to expand their A&E department and the unit needs to make way.

The expansion in needed in advance of the planned closure of King George Hospital’s A&E unit in Goodmayes.

Queen’s is 13 miles away from the nearest dedicated renal care centre at Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital, a journey that takes more than an hour on public transport.

David Mansfield, a 62-year-old former patient at the service, said: “I drive a friend of mine to and from hospital for his treatments. He lives in Collier Row and now he’s been told he might have to go up to London every three weeks to get them.

“Sometimes after he’s had his dialysis I have to help him out to my car – how can you expect him to get on the Tube?”

Mr Mansfield, who dialysed at Queen’s for three years while he was waiting for a new kidney, still has friends that regularly use the facility, and said they have been told they have eight months to find alternative locations to get their dialysis. “Now instead of just popping to Romford they may have to trek into London on public transport – it’s the last thing they need,” said Mr Mansfield.

BHRUT chief executive Matthew Hopkins said: “Queen’s Hospital is one of the busiest emergency departments in the country and it is important the estate is used as effectively as possible to ensure we can provide the quality emergency services our patients expect and deserve.

“This work will be undertaken as part of the Health for North East London programme developed to improve services for our local communities and endorsed by the Secretary of State.

“We are working closely with Barts Health, which runs the Renal Unit, to find a suitable location for the service in Havering or Barking and Dagenham.

“At this stage we have no definitive timescale for the move. Any changes will, of course, be made in a planned way, involving current patients of the unit.”

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