Council welcomes plans to review King George A&E decision


king george hospital

The council has welcomed an announcement to review the accident and emergency services at King George Hospital.

The decision from the East London Health and Care Partnership (ELHCP) follows an independent investigation by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) into the proposals to change the Redbridge hospital into an urgent care centre.

The plans, which were announced in 2011, would leave just one A&E service – Queen’s Hospital in Havering – within easy reach of the borough. The next closest facility would be Whipps Cross Hospital in Waltham Forest.

Earlier this year, Councillor Maureen Worby said comments from Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, about the hospital not closing “in the foreseeable future” did not go far enough.

‘Finally seeing sense’

The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration has now welcomed news the accident and emergency services will remain in operation while the proposals are reviewed.

Cllr Worby said: “This is encouraging news and it is a welcome relief that people are finally seeing sense – this vital accident and emergency department simply must remain open.

“While the proposals being reviewed are a step in the right direction, I will not stop supporting residents and giving them a voice until we are absolutely certain the decision to keep the A&E facilities are confirmed.”

Looking to the future

Barking and Dagenham has seen an increase of 20,000 in population since the 2011 census, to approximately 206,500. Between Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Redbridge, it is estimated there will be around 110,000 extra residents by 2025.

Cllr Worby added: “As the borough continues to grow, we need to look at what we can do to accommodate the growing needs of our community, not just for the people of today but for the people of tomorrow.”