Barking and Dagenham chief hits out after A&E turns away patients

COUNCIL leader Liam Smith is appealing to the Health Secretary to intervene after King George Hospital A&E was repeatedly forced to turn away patients.

The Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council is asking Andrew Lansley to plough extra funds and “sort out the mess” after the under threat Goodmayes A&E – which serves people living in Barking and Dagenham – was forced to divert ambulances.

Compounding the situation, the casualty department at Queen’s Hospital in Romford was also reportedly full last week.

Cllr Smith said: “The fact that both hospitals appear not to be able to deal with accident and emergency pressures is very worrying.

“This is no time to be closing local A&E services.”

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Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said the diversions, which were caused by the cold weather and the surge in flu cases, had only lasted two hours each and were only “on a couple of occasions”.

A spokeswoman said: “The situation is much improved this week.

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“Hospital staff may recommend more appropriate services but would never turn away a sick patient needing hospital care.

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