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Mike's Ilford Recorder column (07.10.2017): Plan to close A&E must be scrapped

Due to the efforts of hard working staff, Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals University Trust recently came out of special measures, and some targets have now been hit for the first time in three years.

However a big cloud of uncertainty still hangs over everything.

The draft North East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan proposes cuts of £586million to local services and still includes the mad proposal to close accident and emergency at King George Hospital.

This was first mooted in 2006. 

The Conservative and Lib Dem coalition government agreed in 2011.

It has not happened due to our strong local campaign and because Queen’s and other local hospitals could not cope.

A great deal has changed since the original proposals nearly 12 years ago.

The population of this area is growing rapidly. It makes no sense.

I have been campaigning to defend and improve local services for many years. Straight after the June election I called a special debate on the future of King George Hospital.

Since then I have written to and lobbied ministers. I understand that local NHS organisations are currently in discussions on these plans with a decision likely in the near future.

On October 14 I will be speaking at a rally at Redbridge Town Hall where I will once again call on health secretary Jeremy Hunt to reverse the decision of his predecessor Andrew Lansley and take the decision to close the accident and emergency at King George Hospital off the table once and for all.

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