Recovery beds set to be halved in home service

Grays Court Health Centre. Patients from Oldchurch Hospital in havering have been relocated here aft

Grays Court Health Centre. Patients from Oldchurch Hospital in havering have been relocated here after there was a Legionnaire's disease scare. - Credit: Archant

Plans to close rehabilitation wards in Dagenham and centralise services in neighbouring Goodmayes have been agreed by health commissioners despite opposition.

Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) voted in favour of closing 26 intermediate care beds at Gray’s Court community hospital in John Parker Close.

The 48-bed Heronwood and Galleon units at Wanstead Hospital will also close, with the current ward at King George Hospital in Goodmayes expanding from 27 to between 40 and 61 depending on need.

The controversial proposal will halve the number of intermediate care beds – which provide intense rehabilitation to patients after operations and illnesses – from 104 across the three boroughs.

Services will also be provided through community treatment teams that will visit people in their own homes, following a successful pilot over the past 12 months.

Dr Jagan John, clinical director of intermediate care at Barking and Dagenham CCG and a GP at King Edward’s Medical Centre in Barking, said: “This decision means more local people will get better care, more quickly and be less likely to need a stay in hospital.

“We will have excellent care at home services backed up by a consistently high-quality rehab unit.

Most Read

“We have been clear all along that anyone who needs a community rehab bed will get one and no changes will take place until after winter.

“We are delighted to get the go-ahead for our plans.”

The decision follows a 14-week consultation that ended on October 15.

The plans are set to be implemented at the end of 2015 – but could be referred to health secretary Jeremy Hunt after a petition against the plans gathered 5,000 signatures, with many claiming the consultation was leading.

A decision about whether to get Mr Hunt involved will be made in January.

Manisha Modhavia from the borough’s health watchdog Barking and Dagenham Healthwatch told the Post: “The rehabilitation beds are quite underused.

“Residents are saying they would like that care at home.”