MP Margaret Hodge asks for GPs help to save King George A&E

BARKING MP Margaret Hodge is appealing to Barking and Dagenham’s GPs to help save King George’s A&E from closure.

She has written to every GP in the borough asking for their views as part of her campaign to save the department.

Health for North East London (HFNEL), which devised the proposals, says GPs are behind plans to close the services at the hospital in Goodmayes.

But Mrs Hodge said: “I do not believe this is true. I’ve yet to meet any GP who supports the closure.”

More than 40,000 people have signed a petition to save the department.

If the A&E department is axed patients will have to travel to use Queen’s A&E in Romford.

Mrs Hodge said in a letter to GPs this week that Queen’s would struggle to cope with the extra patients and many people would find it difficult to get to the hospital.

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She added many people were spending an hour-and-a-half on three buses to get to Queen’s hospital, and more people would have to do that if the A&E was closed.

She also expects local GP surgeries will be full of patients who have been discharged from hospital too early because of a lack of beds.

She said in the letter said: “We all know that Queen’s can barely cope as it is.

“Over Christmas and New Year it was forced to close its A&E department on several occasions because it could not handle the number of patients.

“Some local GPs volunteered to help out, and one of them said to me the situation at Queen’s was ‘desperate.’ Ambulances queued around the block.

“This is just a preview of what will happen if we lose the A&E at King George.”

Mrs Hodge added to the Post, “Anyone who’s going to see their doctor this week should urge them to support our campaign.

“We all have to work together to make our voices heard and stop this madness.”