Ilford recorder column2 december 2009

After the State opening of the new Parliamentary year I have  been very busy with Select Committee,  local and national meetings and events. I made two major speeches last week. On Monday in the debate on the Queens Speech  I drew attention to the appalling ongoing crisis in the Sri Lankan camps where 150,000 Tamil civilians are still detained. On  Tuesday a  Joint Meeting of Inner and Outer London Primary Care Trust bosses  rubber stamped  plans to downgrade KingGeorgeHospital and  organise a  14 week “public consultation” starting on 30 November  2009 and ending on 8 March 2010.  I had a special Parliamentary adjournment debate at 10pm the same evening where I denounced this sham consultation. I systematically went through their copious documents pointing out the inconsistencies and rigged data. They claim their plans are  “clinically led”, but  the small print reveals  that they build  on previous exercises including "Fit for the Future" which was rejected because it was financially driven and not clinically sound.  The documents also reveal estimated savings of  £28 million a year if they were closing Accident and Emergency at Newham hospital but only £19 million a year at King George. “Healthcare for London” said a local hospital should serve  a population of between 200,000 and 250,000.  But  neither Barking and Dagenham, 182,000,  nor Redbridge, 264,000, will have a local hospital .  All other boroughs in east and north-east London will have a hospital with Accident and Emergency, critical care and maternity facilities.  No children will  be born in Ilford  unless they are born at home or in the back of taxis or cars driving them to other hospitals; they will be have to be  born in Romford or elsewhere in London.  Redbridge Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee should  reject these  plans and  refer the matter immediately to the Secretary of State for Health who I hope will then stop this “consultation” and refer the matter to an Independent Review Panel.



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