Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Boris will not oppose the closure of KGH A&E

The London Mayor Boris Johnson has stated that he does not believe it would be "appropriate" for him to lobby Government against their proposal to close the Accident and Emergency unit at King George Hospital in Redbridge. This statement was made by the Mayor in response to London Assembly member Darren Johnson's question at the February Mayor's Question Time, urging him to make representation to Government to maintain the A&E unit. [1]

The population of Redbridge is predicted to increase by 13,000 inhabitants in the next decade. [2]

Darren Johnson said: "The Mayor has failed to give clear backing to the threatened King George Hospital A&E. If he is serious about his duty to tackle health inequalities, he needs to take a much more active role in defending vital frontline services"

Darren added "Closure really makes no sense, particularly as existing A&E units are already overstretched and as London's population is growing. This proposed closure will be bad for local people who will be forced to travel much further, bad for other A&E units who will have to deal with more patients and bad for general health inequalities"

[1] Darren Johnson's Question to the Mayor of London, at the February 2011 Mayor's Question Time
Threat to King George Hospital A&E
Question No: 681 / 2011
Question by Darren Johnson
Will you oppose the proposal to close the Accident and Emergency unit at King George Hospital in Redbridge? Will you agree to make a representation to Government for maintaining this unit?

Written answer from the Mayor, Boris Johnson
During my term of office there have been a number of questions raised concerning my views on proposed service changes at specific trusts. My position on these matters remains unchanged.

As you know I am not accountable for such reconfiguration decisions, however through my Health Inequality Strategy I have highlighted the importance of all Londoners having access to a good quality health system (covering primary, community and secondary and tertiary care)

On a pan London basis, the existing provision of all these services is not delivering the quality outcomes or reducing health inequalities at the pace which I would wish. I am glad that going forward, such strategic decisions will be clinically led. During this transition, I would want to support the emerging GP leadership as they develop ways of determining which of the available options will produce the best health outcomes for the Capital. At this point, I don't believe that the intervention which you are proposing would be appropriate.

I do believe that previous NHS reviews have been significantly undermined by an understandable lack of trust on the part of the public in the decisions being taken, caused by the absence of routinely available quality and performance information. To address this I am working with NHS colleagues to utilise the London Data Store and am seeking to promote other ways of getting meaningful data into the public domain. In so doing, I hope that this will also support patient choice.

Axing A&E services and population growth
Question No: 683 / 2011
Question by Darren Johnson
At a time when London's population is increasing and there is an increase demand on frontline services such as A&E units, will you agree to make representation to government to refrain from cutting A&E units?

Written answer from the Mayor, Boris Johnson
Please see my response to MQ681 / 2011.

[2] According to the GLA Intelligence Update, 2009 Round Demographic Projections for the London Plan (revised):
Redbridge's population is predicted to rise from 258,000 in 2011, to 265,000 in 2016, to 271,000 in 2021;
Barking & Dagenham's population is predicted to rise from 177,000 in 2011, to 192,000 in 2016, to 206,000 in 2021;
Havering's population is predicted to rise from 231,000 in 2011, to 242,000 in 2016, to 252,000 in 2021.


  1. Oh, well - guess I'll be scrutinising in minute detail the credentials of independent candidates both for mayor and for assembly member. When it comes to party politicians, they all appear to **** in the same pot.

  2. I see that Ken Livingstone and Iain Duncan Smith are speaking at the Public Meeting on 8th April in support of KGH. Boris did nothing for Newbury Park Station and did not even have the courtesy to reply personally to the letter I handed to him. Perhaps he should go back to HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU where he was a passable clown.

  3. I believe in situations like this, you speak to the people in their own language. And in Boris's case - as with any politician - the only language they understand is Loss Of My Vote. Well Boris lost mine long ago (and this just confirms my decision then was tight)... and that coming from, what most people would regard as, a life-long Conservative voter. [That ended a good while back].

  4. On second thoughts: why not take a leaf out of Dr. Richard Taylor’s book, who stood for Parliament (Wyre Valley) as an Independent on a “Save our local Hospital” ticket. I think we should start holding discussions with likely candidates now (for Independent Mayor or even for next MP)