King George maternity decision date announced

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Save King George Hospital campaigners Save King George Hospital campaigners

A date has been set for the announcement of a decision on whether the only maternity ward in Redbridge will close.

Health bosses are expected to confirm the closure of services at King George Hospital in Goodmayes on March 7.

A decision has been delayed due to concerns about the quality of care at Queen's Hospital in Romford, following the deaths of seven babies in three months.

But after the latest inspection by the Care Qulity Commission (CQC), standards are said to have now improved sufficiently at Queen's to continue with the reconfiguration of maternity services in north east London.

The report said: "Since our last inspection the maternity services at Queen's Hospital has made a range of improvements and the care of women has improved.

"Women we spoke with were unanimous in saying that the care they had received was of a high standard."

Member of the Save King George Hospital Campaign and Labour councillor for Chadwell Heath, Andy Walker, said: "I think closing the unit is just the wrong thing to do. It is an outrage.

"It is a step backwards for maternity care in Redbridge. I don’t accept the arguments this will provide a better level of care for women.

"A good public service is a local public service. The population in Redbridge is increasing all the time, which makes the need for a maternity unit all the more important.

"I don’t see why we can’t have a midwife led unit at King George.

"How can a pregnant woman be expected to travel outside of the borough, especially on public transport, to give birth?"

Some women in Redbridge are already being sent to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone.

The maternity ward could close just two weeks after the decision announcement.

Services including antenatal clinics, scans and parenting education will remain at King George.

A plan to close the A&E department at the hospital are on hold following a damning CQC report on A&E services at Queen's.

Comments (1)

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2:19pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Harry J says...

This councillor is wrong to say these services have to be local. They have to be safe and properly staffed with the best maternity doctors and midwives etc. You can' do that in every town in England.

I'd rather travel to see my daughter at a safe maternity ward than walk along the street to see her preparing to give birth to my grandkids in a less safe one.

Why are these campaigners all older types - maybe the young women know what's best/safest.
This councillor is wrong to say these services have to be local. They have to be safe and properly staffed with the best maternity doctors and midwives etc. You can' do that in every town in England. I'd rather travel to see my daughter at a safe maternity ward than walk along the street to see her preparing to give birth to my grandkids in a less safe one. Why are these campaigners all older types - maybe the young women know what's best/safest. Harry J

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