Monday, March 10, 2008

Access to Health Services

a London Bus Travel Watch has identified 9 London hospitals that are poorly served with public transport and are difficult to reach. Yes, Queen's Hospital, Romford, is on the list! One of the first things residents pointed out when services at King George Hospital were threatened some time ago, but hey, who listens to us?

Although our MP, Lee Scott, says that our lobbying and campaigning have had an effect, some residents report that they have refused to go to Queen’s and have lost their consultant. Other residents who used to go to King George's for blood tests have been given a list of alternatives miles away.

However, our MP also reports that the “Fit for Future” programme has been put on hold and for the moment services at King George are being maintained. But there is a substantial financial deficit and the Trust is conducting a review of services at King George and other NHS facilities. He assures us that he will continue to oppose cuts and will work hard to expand health services at a time of increasing local demand.

Elsewhere Elliot has an interesting take on health care, where he argues it is not “free” at the point of delivery but “rationed”; and over on Burning our Money, Wat points out that Private Hospitals generally do not charge for parking.


  1. I wonder how many people know, as far as blood tests are concerned, that over-65s can have blood tests done at their GP surgery, and that if an elderly person is housebound, permanently or temporarily, and must have a blood test, there is a domiciliary phlebotomy service (they come to your house).

    Some surgeries are notoriously reluctant to publicise these services.

    Whilst I feel some sympathy for people trying to get to Queens, the fact is that Oldchurch was for decades the Neurology centre for the area, a service taken over by Queens.

    We should be very worried about the poor management of the Hospital Trust under the former Chief Executive, and even more worried by the fact that NHS London did not pick up on the escalating debt, currently standing at close to £50 million.

  2. In regard to access to King George Hospital the then London Transport Executive was quite complacent about the needs for access to the hospital prior to its opening. They intended only to divert bus route 287 (now 387) and to extend the weekdays only (no late evening service) 362 from Chadwell Heath. It took enormous effort to persuade them to have a direct service from Ilford via Gants Hill (the 396) to serve the hospital, and they later extended the 173 from Becontree Heath.

    King George needs more bus services if for no other reason than the appalling shortage of car parking space despite its costs.