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Queen’s Hospital’s A&E chaos may become ‘norm’

PUBLISHED: 17:14 06 January 2011 | UPDATED: 17:16 06 January 2011

Ambulance queues at Queen's Hospital A&E

Ambulance queues at Queen's Hospital A&E

Archant

QUEEN’S Hospital was jam packed with ambulances waiting to get into the accident and emergency department over the Christmas and New Year period – and worse will come if the A&E closes at a nearby hospital, claims Andrew Rosindell.

The Romford MP says problems at the hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, will intensify if the decision to close the accident and emergency department and maternity unit at King George Hospital in Goodmayes goes ahead.

Mr Rosindell said: “If they can not cope this Christmas and New Year period, then it will be worse for the future if they close King George A&E and we will be seeing more and more of these queues.

The MP has plegded to join forces with other MPs and councillors in Redbridge over the decision by Health for North East London.

The decision was agreed in December, but Andrew Rosindell argues that if it goes ahead it would leave patients from Redbridge coming to Queen’s, adding pressure.

He said: “This will be the first time that all of the MPs will be working together. It is a Redbridge issue so I will not be taking the lead, but I will be working with them to fight the closure.”

Over Christmas and New Year the hospital was experiencing pressure on A&E due to the high numbers of patients suffering from flu.

A paramedic, who does not want to be named, claims that he was the 16th person at the back of the queue waiting to admit a patient at the hospital on Wednesday, January 5.

He said: “All the patients are on ambulance beds queuing in the corridor. It’s unbelievable.

He said one crew, arriving at 7am, had to wait at least three hours before their patient was in a bed.

“It’s a regular thing but not quite as bad as this. They’ve moved us out of A&E so it looks empty.

“The patients are all in the corridor where the ambulances pull up and there is still more queuing.”

A Queen’s Hospital spokesman said: “The Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital – along with others across London – has been very busy over the Christmas and new year period.

“The cold weather followed by high numbers with flu complications has put extreme pressure on hospital beds and emergency capacity.

“The London Ambulance Service provides high-quality care before patients can be admitted.

“Beds are allocated according to clinical need, not on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Our staff work hard to keep delays to a minimum, although for patients with less serious conditions, waits are often shorter at walk-in centres or for advice via NHS Direct or the out of hours GP.”


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