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Size of catchment puts pressure on hospital trust
9:13am Monday 30th December 2013 in Your Views
Following the deeply concerning announcement that BHRUT have been placed in special measures we have written the following letter to the Secretary of State for Health.
Putting Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals University Trust into special measures will not resolve the underlying problems in the Accident and Emergency services at Queen's and King George hospitals.
We believe the real reason is the catchment population of the Hospitals which at between 700,000-800,000 is two to three times that of neighbouring Trusts. Pressures have been increased by bed closures at the Trust and they now face the critical months of January and February with an acknowledged gap between bed availability and demand.
The official narrative that medical staffing is the main problem ignores the impact of rising demand driven by one of the fastest growing populations in the country. We do not believe that the proposed measures such as extending GP opening hours will offset the demand for beds, although they may reduce attendances.
Pressing ahead with closure plans against this background is in our view irresponsible and would breach the commitments to patient safety given by your predecessor.
Now is the time to stabilise the situation by placing a moratorium on further bed closures until there has been a sustained improvement in performance and a review of the clinical strategy.
Forecasts in the Health4NEL plan have been shown to be wildly optimistic and we need a replacement plan which looks at the long term picture for Emergency Medicine in East London and the balance of investment between Inner and Outer London.
Most pressing of all is the need for the local Urgent Care Board to address the gap in bed provision this winter which Trust reports show could be as high as fifty.
We urge you to act in the interests of patient safety and abandon the plans to close Accident and Emergency at King George Hospital announced by your predecessor Andrew Lansley in October 2011.
Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South, Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of the Labour Group, Wes Streeting, Labour Party Candidate for Ilford North, Matthew Goddin, Redbridge Labour Organiser
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