Work and Money
Protestors at King George Hospital
"Hands off King George!"
Residents and a local MP are worried that new cost cutting exercises will take away the Accident and Emergency at their local hospital.
Fit for the Future
The organisations involved in the programme:
Option 1 (do minimum)
The King George Hospital on Barley Lane in Ilford has been serving residents in its full capacity for just over a decade. However, new NHS reform proposals could shut down and move some of its nearly new departments, including the Accident and Emergency.
Mike Gapes MP has been petitioning outside of the hospital. He says people south of Ilford will suffer the most:
" Forty percent of my constituency do not have access to a car. These proposals are contrary to the interests of the poorest people. There are no buses to the other hospitals and in addition, they (other hospitals) won't be able to cope with the pressures and the demands.”
The closing of the A & E at the hospital is just one of the options that have been drawn up as a part of the cost cutting programme called “Fit for the Future.”
Currently, this programme is being undertaken by the hospital, mental health and primary care trusts in the North East of London.
Stakeholder workshops have been carried out in the boroughs since September to ascertain public opinion on these proposals.
The workshops were made up of representatives from local patient groups, voluntary organisations and NHS Clinicians and managers.
Even though none of the plans have been finalised, results from the last workshop in November did favour option 4, the downgrading of The King George hospital.
Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South has no faith in the consultation process.
He says :
“The consultation process is rigged, it doesn’t take in account the population increases because of the Thames Gateway over the next ten years and it doesn’t take in account that the new Romford hospital is under pressure. They can’t cope today with the demand and pressures locally, how on earth will they cope when they take one of the three hospitals in the area out.”
The boards of the seven organisations involved in the Fit for the Future programme will be making their decisions in February and the final options will be out for public consultation in April, after which things will be finalised.
To hear what MP Mike Gapes has to say in full watch the video feature above.
If you would like to share your views email firstname.lastname@example.org.
last updated: 28/12/2007 at 15:08