Revealed: Two-year plan to close Redbridge’s only A&E

08:00 22 October 2012

King George Hospital

King George Hospital

Archant

Hospital chiefs believe it could take around two years before Redbridge’s only A&E closes, with a nearby department needing to be made bigger and more robust to cope with extra patients.

The axe has already fallen on the labour unit at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, with the last births to happen there in spring. But the closure of the A&E unit is posing extra challenges.

Queen’s, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, will absorb some of the overspill patients from the Redbridge unit and come to serve a population of 700,000 – around double that of other A&Es in the region.

More resuscitation bays, six more beds in the major injury unit, and “improvements to the general flow of patients” in Queen’s A&E, were some proposals explained to a joint health and overview and scrutiny committee, according to a report this month.

Work to speed up patient discharge and free up much-needed beds for A&E patients is being worked out with those responsible, including NHS North East London and the City (NELC) and Havering Council.

But, the committee of councillors, from the north east London region, including Redbridge, remained “sceptical that A&E at Queen’s could cope with any further increase in demand, even if other parts of the hospital offered good care”.

The department is faring worse than in 2011, the trust admitted, with the unit consistently failing to meet the government’s target that 95 per cent of patients are treated within four hours.

During one fortnight in April, the trust saw 51 so-called “black breaches” in which patients needing urgent care were forced to wait in the back of ambulances.

Such was the level of concern regarding A&E, the regulatory watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) made it – along with maternity and other services – the focus of a much-publicised investigation.

The probe ended this summer with acknowledgement of improvements (there have no black breaches since June), but investigators continue to express fears.

A spokesman for NELC said GPs are working better together to reduce A&E admission by working more closely with social and community care providers, and cutting through “red tape”.

High-profile consultancy firm McKinsey was drafted in to troubleshoot by the trust’s commissioning body, NELC at a reputed cost of £1m.

The trust set up an extensive overhaul programme, called Reset, which the CQC commended. Early indicators were good, with a steady month-on-month improvement on the four-hour waiting targets, from 89 per cent in April to 92 per cent in July.

But last month it dropped back, after what Averil Dongworth, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals trust, called an “expected dip” due to bed readjustments, and is on the rise again. The CQC was cautious about the future, saying it “remained to be seen” whether the good work by the trust was sustainable.

Ms Dongworth said: “The whole of the health system needs to work together to tackle this issue. It is not something we can do on our own, and we need the support of our partners to ensure that patients can be seen as quickly as possible, in the most appropriate place.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London Health news

Lewisham Hospital (Picture: PA Images)

A woman from south-east London broke her elbow, went to A&E in Lewisham and then wrote this heartwarming ‘complaint’ letter to NHS staff about her time in hospital.

The Royal Free's air conditioning may have accidently been pumping out hot air instead of cold

Sick and elderly patients said they suffered “sauna-like” conditions while being treated for life-threatening illnesses at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead after air conditioning units stopped working yesterday.

Cancer survivor Luna Caden, seven, admires the double helix sculptures

Did you know we share 90 per cent of our genes with a mouse? London now has a DNA inspired art trail which features sculptures by Ai WeiWei and Ted Baker and will raise money for a huge medical research centre.

Condoms are one way of protecting yourself from Chlamydia

Hackney has come out on top for having the most young people with Chlamydia according to a report revealing the growing number of sexually-transmitted infections (STI) in London.

You could end up in hospital if your jeans are too tight (Picture: Claude Truong-Ngoc)

First it was simple hipster mockery, then threats of imprisonment from Isis; now the skinny jeans wearer is facing yet more menace - severe nerve damage.

Would you want to eat anything that had been on these shelves?

The Holloway branch of Poundland has been fined over £12,000 after signs of “widespread rodent activity” were found by Council health officers - including on food shelves.

Maida Vale councillor Rita Begum with Ashley Theophane at the protest (Pic credit: Twitter@cllrritab)

A former British boxing champion flew in from Las Vegas and threw his support behind a fight to stop a sports centre from being demolished in Queen’s Park.

Library photograph of a baby [Photograph courtesy of Beth/Wikipedia Commons]

A woman is fighting a legal battle to use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to become pregnant with her own grandchild - in a situation that would be a world-first.

Pigeons carry diseases like Chiamdiosis, similar to flu, and Psittacosis, similar to pneumonia  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

A paramedic rushed to the aid of what he believed was a collapsed woman in Southall only to find a dying pigeon.

The London to Dubai plane was forced to turn around (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano has hit out at Heathrow Airport security staff after they confiscated breast milk she had pumped for her young baby.

We previously ran an appeal asking the public to report any sightings of Joshua Packman, a young man who was receiving treatment at a mental health unit in Enfield.

Some of the food Chicken Town will offer (Pic: Kickstarter/Chicken Town)

Chicken-loving youngsters in a deprived borough of north London may soon be able to buy healthy fried chicken, if two restaurateurs get the start-up capital they need.

Whitechapel High Street has more unhealthy businesses next door to one another than anywhere else in London (Pic: Getty Images)

A Whitechapel street has won the dubious title of unhealthiest high street in London, according to a public health body.

17:38pm Wharfdale Road looking towards York Way

Angry neighbours complain about traffic chaos

A teenager was stabbed in the bottom near the Emirates, minutes before Arsenal's Champions league game against Monaco

Knife attack - just prior to Champions League game - fifth in borough this month

Abhishek Varma with the bottle of apple juice

Would you drink a bottle of apple juice if you found fungi floating at the top of it?

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena has been found not guilty of carrying out FGM [Photograph by Jonathan Brady/PA Wire]

The first person in Britain to go on trial for female genital mutilation has been found not guilty.

Pauline Cafferkey, a British nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola on her return from Sierra Leone (Handout/PA Wire)

There are grave concerns for the British nurse who is critical with Ebola after her condition deteriorated over the past few days.

Cockroaches behind refrigeration units

Cockroaches, mice droppings, hobs covered in fat and food left to cool next to bags of rubbish are some of the findings that prompted environmental health officers to shut down this filthy Chinese take-away kitchen.

The woman criticises the anti-abortion campaigners outside the Southwark clinic (Picture: Sunny Hundal/YouTube)

A pregnant woman was filmed criticising anti-abortion protesters outside a south London clinic and it’s awesome.

London Fields Lido has new extended opening hours

London Fields Lido will be open for longer from today after the installation of floodlights.

The £3 pill is for people who drink more than half a bottle of wine or three pints of beer a night  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It’s something many Londoners have wished for on a Sunday morning. Now a pill which helps dampen the desire to drink alcohol is available to people who drink half a bottle of wine or three pints a night or more.

The church based clinics will test Africans for HIV

Four new HIV testing clinics have been opened in African churches in Southwark, New Cross, Wood Green and Dagenham to combat the high rate the disease among the community.

London Ambulance Service said they were called to a pharmacist in a shopping centre on Stratford's Montfitchet Road [Photograph from Google StreetView]

A shopper in Westfield dialled 999 yesterday - because of trapped wind.

The Ebola virus is deadly in 90 per cent of cases (Cynthia Goldsmith/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A patient at St George’s Hospital in Tooting who was being tested for ebola does not have the disease, a Public Health England spokesperson has confirmed.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more