Last month Helen Zammett reported that as of 13 May the Redbridge Health Scrutiny Committee voted to ask for details of the proposed intermediate care plan, giving a deadline of 12 June. If this information was not available by then, the Committee would continue with the referral of the proposed closure of Wanstead Hospital Galleon and Heronwood wards to the Secretary of State for Health.
On 29th June and 12 months since the plan was announced, the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group had failed to provide any of the crucial evidence, particularly where the new intermediate care service would be provided and no detail of an outline layout/design.
Attached is a summary of the evidence asked for and the inadequate response received which is in the Health Scrutiny Committee papers 6 July. The Wanstead Hospital issue is buried in item 11, the Work Programme on pages 86 - 100.
However, in spite of this, the Director of Adult Social Services, Health and Wellbeing had decided that the referral will not go ahead.
Enter veteran health campaigner Andy Walker at Full Council last Thursday 16th July with a question which was accepted:
“Will you write to the Department of Health asking them to stop the closure of Wanstead hospital and the subsequent loss of three acute wards at King George Hospital, these two events combined being part of the plan to close King George A&E, as it breaches the guarantee given by the 2011 government that “no changes will take place until the Care Quality Commission, which published its own report on local services today, has assured the Secretary of State that the services provided by Queen’s Hospital and other local health services are of a high standard.”Andy Walker said “Cllr Athwal, the Leader of Redbridge Council deserves to be congratulated for overriding the Council Health Scrutiny Committee which meet earlier this month and decided not to object to the proposed closure of Wanstead Hospital.”
Readers could write to their MP encouraging them to follow Cllr Athwal's example and write to Mr Hunt.
It is important to remember that patients in Wanstead Hospital come from a wide area, from Chigwell to Romford - most patients are not from Wanstead. This is an issue that affects everyone in the borough.