Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas backs fight against hospital A&E closure
- Credit: Archant
Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas has urged residents to sign a petition opposing A&E closures at King George Hospital, after leaked documents revealed plans to shut the Ilford emergency ward at 8pm.
Similar concerns had been made by Ilford North MP Wes Streeting back in February, but Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs the hospital, had dismissed claims.
Following backing by Mr Cruddas, Mr Streeting has now repeated his concerns, referencing leaked minutes from a BHRUT general surgery business meeting from November last year.
They state: “AJO [Arikoge Ogedegbe, clinical governance lead] confirmed that the A&E department at KGH will definitely be closed. There will be a meeting on December 4 to establish how this will be managed. The proposal is that it will close at 8pm and all emergencies will be sent straight to QH [Queen’s Hospital].”
The minutes also state that the changes to the unit could happen in “one go”.
Mr Cruddas said: “I find it very concerning that the Trust is pushing ahead with closures and cutbacks at KGH, when QH is still struggling to meet targets.
“The A&E at QH is in special measures, the walk-in centres are scaling back services – KGH is in most instances the best healthcare provision in the area.”
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Trust chief executive, Matthew Hopkins, said BHRUT was looking at ways to make changes to the A&E “in a phased way”.
He said: “That could include closing the emergency department at KGH overnight initially.”
However Mr Hopkins explained that would not happen unless reviews showed the change “can be made safely”.