Outrage as new hospital stands empty

Archive for May, 2011

Outrage as new hospital stands empty

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The people of Barking and Dagenham have campaigned with me for years to get health services back onto the Barking Hospital site, after the original hospital was closed back in the 80s.

Last week I visited the new Hospital for the first time since the building work was completed. The facilities are fantastic – especially the new birthing unit, where we will finally see babies born in Barking again.

What I couldn’t believe is that this brand new hospital is standing empty.

Even though the buildings were handed over to the health authorities in March, the services are not ready to move in.

Officials have told me that most services won’t open until the end of the year.

That’s just not on. We desperately need these services now, particularly the maternity services and the new Urgent Care Centre.

And worst of all, we’re all paying £1 million a year to keep the empty buildings safe and secure. That’s a terrible waste of money.

This is a classic case of putting bureaucracy before patients and I’ve written to the Chief Executive of NHS London, Ruth Carnall, to express my dismay. Click here to see my letter to her.

It’s just like the proposals to close the A&E at King George Hospital – driven by bureaucrats who are completely out of touch with reality, ignoring the needs of patients.

They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. The Health Secretary has recently asked a special panel to review the plans to close the A&E and maternity services at King George. The panel has promised to listen to the views of local residents.

It’s our chance to make our voices heard, and I would really urge you to email or write in. It could be our last chance to save the hospital. Click here to make a submission to the panel.

I need your help to protect our 24 hour police stations

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

I need your help to stop the number of 24 hour police stations in Barking and Dagenham being cut.

I was extremely concerned to learn that if plans put forward by the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) go ahead, the number of 24 hour police stations in the borough will be cut from two to just one.

These proposals have been put forward as part of a review being carried out by the MPA which was launched on 11 April. I think it’s outrageous that the Met have done so little to make Barking and Dagenham residents aware that this review has been going on, it looks like they’re making cuts through the back door.

The consultation closes on Friday 27 May and I need local residents to make sure their voice is heard before it’s too late.

You can complete the survey by logging on to http://www.met.police.uk/contacts/public_access_survey.htm or calling 0300 123 1212.

I’ve written to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to ask that the MPA think again when it comes to cutting our local police service.

Here is my letter:

Save King George Hospital Campaign – I need your help!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The decision to close the A&E and maternity units at King George Hospital has been referred to a special panel to investigate whether the correct decision has been made.

They would like to hear what YOU think about the proposal to close the A&E and maternity units.

Please click here to submit your comments to the panel. It only takes a few minutes.

Make sure your voice is heard, and together we can win the fight to save King George.

King George Hospital campaign update – I need your help!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

April has been a tremendous month in our campaign to save the A&E at King George Hospital. Local MPs from all parties joined together to hand in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Many of us came together a rally at Ilford Town Hall supported by several hundred people the day after.

And 2 weeks ago I received a personal assurance from Andrew Lansley that changes to King George and Queens Hospitals will only proceed if he supports the recommendations and only if GPs were satisfied that the local hospitals could cope.

The Government must listen – the patients don’t want to lose King George, the doctors don’t want to lose King George, and MPs of all parties have said we don’t want to lose it. The only people that want to get rid of it are the bureaucrats.

Queens can’t cope on its own. A&E waiting times are already soaring. In May last year 99% at King George and 92% at Queens of patients were seen in under 4 hours. Now it’s 83% at King George and Queens is down to 61%.

Over Christmas Queens’ A&E was closed to all but the most urgent cases and ambulances were queuing round the block.

The maternity unit at Queens is being investigated by the Care Quality Commission. They have said mothers and babies are at risk because of understaffing.

More and more babies are born here than any other Trust in the country – 10,000 last year or 500 more births every year. In these circumstances it would be total madness to close A&E and maternity services at King George. It’s driven by a desire to cut costs at the expense of patient care.

I need your help for the next stage of the campaign in May and June. Andrew Lansley has referred the decision to a ‘special panel’ before making a final decision in July. The panel has told me they will want to hear from residents. It’s really important that we show them how strongly you feel. It’s your chance to make sure your voice is heard.

Please contact my office to let me know that you oppose any change to King George Hospital. We can win the fight to save King George. Let’s stand up to the bureaucrats and say KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR HOSPITAL!