Ilford Recorder November 5 2009

Redbridge Primary Care Trust Chief Executive Heather O’Meara  has produced plans to downgrade KingGeorgeHospital and get rid of its Accident and Emergency Department. There is supposed to be a three month “public consultation” over Christmas and a decision in the Spring which I predict will be about as free and fair as a rigged Afghan election.  To date Ms O’Meara has not sent local  MPs  copies of the documents or the background papers  and analysis on which they are based . Nor were we  invited to the Press Conference.  Presumably this is because last time they cooked up their misnamed “Fit for the Future “plans we organised an effective campaign to stop them including my special debate in Parliament  in December 2006  and the  28000  signature petition which I  presented to Ruth  Carnall of NHS London region in September 2007, and  the rally  chaired  by Ilford Recorder Editor Chris Carter in October 2007.   Professor George Alberti   rejected “Fit for the Future” as clinically unsound. He said KGH “should be developed as a first class local hospital”.  But in December 2007 when I pressed Heather O’Meara  for an assurance that “Fit for the Future” was  dead and that the crazy option four would  not be reintroduced under another name I was merely  told that it was  “stood down”. I warned at the time that I did not trust the NHS bureaucrats and that we needed to remain vigilant.  Sadly I have been proved right. As I said then  “Ilford needs and deserves a local hospital. I will fight tooth and nail any attempt to sacrifice KGH on the altar of problems caused by incompetent management and escalating costs of running QueensHospital or the Independent Sector Treatment Centre.  We do not just need a big “ambulatory care” walk in centre or “polyclinic”. We must hold firm and not allow the effective closure of  KingGeorgeHospital by a process of attrition or salami slicing. “


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