Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Redbridge Full Council to debate King George A&E Closure

Tomorrow (20th March) at Full Council, Health Campaigner Bill Howe will present the following 1,600 plus signature petition: Link to agenda papers.
“We the undersigned Redbridge residents call upon Redbridge Council to publish on a monthly basis on the Redbridge I website the following information about King George and Queens hospitals: the bed numbers at each hospital and patient death rates along with the bed occupancy rate, staffing levels and waiting lists and that the Chief Executive of King George and Queens Hospitals is interviewed about these statistics by a Redbridge Councillor once a month and the interview placed on YouTube.”ENDS 
The preamble: The petition will help the campaign to keep open King George Hospital A&E because beds will need to close at King George Hospital in preparation for the closure of the A&E in 2015. Tracking on the Redbridge Council website whether these bed closures lead to longer waiting lists or an increase in emergency patient death rates will give Councillors evidence about if the closure plan is producing a better NHS. If the bed closures cause a decline in care, Councillors will be able to use the evidence to ask the government to get the doctors and beds back into King George Hospital and so stop the closure of King George Hospital A&E.
The independent Indpendent councillor and KGH campaigner Andrew Walker said: “In order to close King George A&E in 2015, beds will need to be closed first. Closing beds could lead to a rise in waiting times and emergency patient death rates. Keeping a close eye on our hospitals as set out above will allow the council to ask for beds and doctors to be put back into King George Hospital if necessary. If the council makes a commitment to monthly monitoring now, not a single ward is likely to be closed at King George Hospital before the May 2015 general election."

The advice of Officers:
With regard to 1.1, it would not be advisable to comply with these requests on the basis that:
i) Information on BHRUT’s performance is already in the public domain and can be accessed via website pages such as the BHRUT performance page (see Appendix 2) and the BBC News Health page (see Appendix 3). In addition, a link to the BBC Health page, which contains a number of performance indicators similar to those requested in 1.1, above, is already currently available on Redbridge-i (see Appendix 4).
ii) It is not a reasonable request for the Council to make of another public body.
Appendix 4 refers to a page on the Redbridge-i website that is not very easy to find unless you have a direct link like this. It is in the “Latest News” section and dated last December. Shades of H2G2 there. The other two web pages are in the public domain but you have to know they are there and where to find them.

The BBC page – put in your postcode and it will give you the data for where you live.

The BHR page.

However none of this public domain information seems to tell us about bed numbers and ward closures or the other information requested by the petition. Hmmmmm! Over to you Full Council.


  1. So the outcome was that 9 weeks before elections the council demonstrates its contempt for the interests of the electorate.

  2. Well, that didn't go very well .... see outcome reports in Ilford Recorder and WW Guardian.