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Future is bright for A&E

PUBLISHED: 18:08 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 11 August 2010

BARKING MP, Margaret Hodge, has expressed relief and surprise at the Department of Health s decision to keep open the Accident and Emergency department at King George Hospital. The decision was initially given by Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw during a pr

BARKING MP, Margaret Hodge, has expressed relief and surprise at the Department of Health's decision to keep open the Accident and Emergency department at King George Hospital.

The decision was initially given by Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw during a private meeting with Mrs Hodge at Whitehall, called specifically to discuss the future of the department at the Goodmayes hospital

However, the decision has yet to be officially confirmed.

Mrs Hodge, who has been campaigning to save the department for more than a year, is said to be overwhelmed by the decision, not least by its timing.

A spokesman for the MP said: "We were shocked that within five minutes of entering the meeting we were in a situation we didn't think we would be in for at least six months.

"There is going to be a lot of development in the area over coming years, so it was crucial that we retained the A&E."

In January, Redbridge Primary Care Trust dropped its 'Fit for the Future' plan, which favoured closing the A&E.

The spokesman added: "There has been a big question mark over King George since the plan was dropped, and we felt that if a consultation had been launched we would have lost it; but for once the right decision has been made."

Residents of Barking and Dagenham will be relieved at the news, particularly since the new Queen's Hospital in Romford has been beset with problems since opening in 2006.


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