A DETERMINED campaigner has warned against complacency in the fight to save an A&E after a report withdrew the threat of imminent closure.

Andy Walker, of Seven Kings, said that despite claims to the contrary, the threat of closing King George A&E “has not been taken off the table.”

The A&E was scheduled to close in 2019, eight years after the decision to shut it was made.

Mr Walker said that although a PriceWaterhouse Coopers’ (PwC) report recommended a changed approach to closure to suit different interests, the threat has not gone away.

The 55-year-old said: “It’s a step forward but the 2019 closure date has not been taken off the table. They need more nurses, doctors and wards. PwC have completely ignored the staffing issue.

“I don’t expect it to close in 2019 but we’re not out of the woods yet.

“We need [Health Secretary] Jeremy Hunt to review the decision. The more pressure we put on the government to see sense the better.”

Mr Walker took issue with some recommendations, which he claims thrust excessive responsibility on the hospital’s operator, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT).

PwC’s report said the original decision to close the site’s A&E unit needed to change and the trust must reassess what services what services it keeps and cuts.

The report also recommended greater workforce “flexibility.”

Consultants did not specify what this could mean although it could involve measures such as hiring more part-time workers or contracting staff to work across more than one hospital site.

The report also said that the decision to close and not to close was described as being “unlikely” to please patients because it will not reflect changes in the hospital since the decision was taken.

Mr Walker said: “PriceWaterhouse Coopers have passed the buck on to BHRUT. It’s difficult to see it as anything other than a binary decision. It’s either open or shut, there is no spectrum.

“The quality of the report does not inspire confidence. I thought the whole point of the exercise was for PwC to work out what needed to be done, not BHRUT.

“Have they really got time to do blue sky thinking on staffing arrangements?

“Staff are working their hearts out – we don’t fund the English health system enough and not enough in north east London.”

The report also concluded that it could cost as much as £125 million to provide new beds at the hospital, “substantially higher than earlier estimates”.

Paul Canal, leader of Redbridge Conservatives, incorrectly said that plans to shut the Goodmayes A&E had been “shelved” following the release of the report on Wednesday, November 29.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of BHRUT said: “I’m pleased we now have the opportunity to work with our clinicians, our wider staff groups, patients and partners to look at the best way of delivering urgent and emergency care to local people.”