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»St George’s Hospital will be closed and its site sold for housing.

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That was the message delivered to Hornchurch residents by Havering Council’s ruling Conservative Party – despite health chiefs insisting no decision has yet been made on the hospital’s future.

Last week the Recorder reported that the hospital’s heating system was not good enough to last the winter and staff believed patients would be moved out in November.

NHS North East London and the City (NELC), which maintains the former RAF hospital in Suttons Lane, said it had not yet decided what would happen to the site.

This week a leaflet from Hacton Conservatives was delivered to local residents. It stated that the heating system is being staffed by eight engineers to keep it safe.

It said: “The 60-bed convalescent unit will close within two months.

“The NHS will sell the site for housing development.”

It added that the party supports the plan to close the bed unit.

Options

A NELC spokesman maintained that no plans have yet been made.

He said: “Together with councillors and other stakeholders, we are looking at all the options so we can make sure we can care for patients in safe and suitable surroundings.

“We need to act before the winter months but as yet no decision has been made about what would be best for local patients.”

Havering Council’s cabinet member for individuals, Cllr Steven Kelly, told the Recorder that talks with the health authority back up the claims in the leaflet.

He said: “It’s not a hospital anymore, this isn’t a ‘save the hospital’ campaign, it’s about 20 per cent used at best. They will continue providing some sort of medical facility on the site but it won’t be a day hospital.”

He added: “It will take £1.5m to fix the heating. The reality is that they will develop that site.”

In 2010, NHS Havering presented a range of options for the redevelopment of the site but earlier this year it was announced that the plans had been shelved.

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