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Accident and Emergency and Maternity Services at King George Hospital (Ilford North)

Volume 531: debated on Monday 18 July 2011

The Petition of the residents of North East London and others.

Declares that the Petitioners believe that the proposed closure of accident and emergency and maternity wards at King George Hospital Redbridge would not be in the best interests of the people living in these constituencies.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take all possible steps to stop the proposed closure of the A&E and maternity wards at King George Hospital.

The Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Lee Scott, Official Report, 6 July 2011; Vol. 530, c. 1622 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:

The issues raised relate to proposals for NHS service change under the reconfiguration scheme known as “Health for North East London”.

As part of the local overview and scrutiny process, this scheme was referred by the LB Redbridge, LB Barking and Dagenham, LB Havering, and the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to the Secretary of State for Health. On 9 February 2011 the Secretary of State wrote to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), asking it to consider whether a full review of the Health for North East London scheme was required. Following receipt of that advice, the Secretary of State has asked the IRP to undertake a full review and to report back to him by 22 July 2011. He will then consider its recommendations.

This Government have pledged that, in future, all NHS service changes must be led by clinicians and patients, not be driven from the top down. Consequently, the Secretary of State for Health announced a review of all service change proposals. He outlined new, strengthened criteria that he expects decisions on NHS service changes to meet. These criteria (known as the four tests) are:

Support from GP commissioners;

Arrangements for public and patient engagement, including local authorities being further strengthened;

Greater clarity about the clinical evidence bases underpinning proposals; and

Proposals taking into account the need to develop and support patient choice.

The local NHS revisited proposals for King George Hospital under the “Health for North East London” scheme. The local debate about changes to services included talking through the issues with GPs, councillors, medical committees, national bodies and local patient representatives, in addition to local MPs.

The joint committee of PCTs (JCPCTs) met in public on 15 December 2010 to consider proposals for urgent and emergency care, maternity, children’s services and the vision for King George Hospital, Ilford. The JCPCTs approved the proposals for change against the four tests and NHS London is assured the four tests have been met.