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.”

Latest Stories

The woman was attacked in a house in Hatherley Road, Walthamstow (Picture: Google Streetview)

A woman was stabbed in the neck and a six-year-old child injured after they were attacked at a house in Walthamstow in broad daylight.

Read more
07:49
Boris Johnson is angry his plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have been rejected (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has reacted angrily to the decision by the Airports Commission to reject plans for ‘Boris Island’, accusing its author Sir Howard Davies of setting the debate on aviation expansion back by half a century.

Read more
We are not amused: The Queen gets snapped by a young well-wisher in Belfast (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - Pool/Getty Images)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not a fan of smartphones, it has emerged.

Read more

TOP Stories

The woman was attacked in a house in Hatherley Road, Walthamstow (Picture: Google Streetview)

A woman was stabbed in the neck and a six-year-old child injured after they were attacked at a house in Walthamstow in broad daylight.

07:49
Boris Johnson is angry his plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have been rejected (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has reacted angrily to the decision by the Airports Commission to reject plans for ‘Boris Island’, accusing its author Sir Howard Davies of setting the debate on aviation expansion back by half a century.

We are not amused: The Queen gets snapped by a young well-wisher in Belfast (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - Pool/Getty Images)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not a fan of smartphones, it has emerged.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 17:16
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more