'Compelling case' needs close examination

Chris Carter IN THE WORDS of Heather O Meara, health chiefs feel they have a compelling case for the closure of King George Hospital A&E. I attended Monday s press conference, called after the Recorder broke the news last week, and, unlike last time, the plans are b

Chris Carter

IN THE WORDS of Heather O'Meara, health chiefs feel they have a "compelling case" for the closure of King George Hospital A&E.

I attended Monday's press conference, called after the Recorder broke the news last week, and, unlike last time, the plans are better prepared and are seemingly backed by many of the borough's doctors.

During our campaign in 2007, it was regularly stated that closure could only be considered if community services were brought up to a level that meant there were options other than to attend A&E.


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The introduction of polyclinics, it seems, is the major plank in this argument.

Ms O'Meara, leading the plans in her new role as sector chief executive for outer north east London, told us that 200 patients attended the Loxford polyclinic who would otherwise have gone to A&E.

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It is a fact that a high percentage of those who go to A&E departments should not be there, much of it down to inaccessibility of GP services. The aim appears to be to improve that with the opening of more polyclinics throughout the borough.

The knee-jerk response of all of us is to hold our hands up in horror after learning of the plans to close our A&E.

This newspaper was at the forefront of the campaign in 2007 to scupper the plans and, if necessary, will lead the charge again.

What everyone needs first of all to glean is what is best for the health of the borough's citizens and, as unpalatable as it may seem, that could be the plans as laid out by health chiefs.

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