Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blue Light Diversionary Tactics

The Save King George A&E Campaign group is planning a public meeting for 14th November 2014. The time and venue has not yet been confirmed (we will publish on our eNotice Board as soon as we know) but it is expected that local MPs will be present as well as officials from BHRUT, if the dispute over who chairs the meeting is resolved. In the meantime there is a “You Talk, We’ll Listen” meeting with BHRUT organised by Healthwatch Redridge next Thursday 16th October 2014.

Last year (2013) there were reports that BHRUT had stopped Blue Light Emergency ambulances for children and adults being sent to King George A&E in 2010, diverting them instead to Queens in Romford. This, it is said, effectively downgrades what the public perceive to be A&E services at KGH when we are told that the King George A&E will only be closed when Queens is fit to take over and that this is still some way off.

When this information came to light campaign member Bill Howe wrote to all local party leaders, the MP for Ilford North and his local councillors. It seems that the alleged action by BHRUT took place without the knowledge of these elected representatives and Bill then addressed a Full Council meeting and again could not get any answers.

He then contacted his local councillor, then Cllr Vanessa Cole (who at that time was Chair of the Health Scrutiny committee) and she arranged for the council to write to BHRUT asking for confirmation of what A&E services were removed from KGH in 2010.

As far as we are aware there have been no Scrutiny Meetings since the council elections last May and Bill has been unable to find out if BHRUT has replied and if so, the content of their reply. Bill claims that he has spelled all this out several times to Lee Scott MP and Wes Streeting, the Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for this subject, and is still none the wiser. He has now written to The Council Leader and Deputy Leader again (1st October) asking for confirmation – no reply as yet.

In the meantime Bill has written twice to BHRUT asking for details under the Freedom of Information Act but has not had any reply. He is currently in the process of contacting the FOI commissioners for advice on what to do next.

Bill is keen to stress that this is not a political point scoring issue but seeks this information as a member of the public because the public have a right to know what is going on.


  1. It would be interesting to know who is running this show. At a meeting in Oaks Lane last month attended by me and around fifty other people, Mr. Lee Scott, our M.P., categorically assured everyone present that the A&E department at King George WILL NOT BE CLOSING! (Yes, he did say it in capital letters.) And this, he stated, was a certainty because he had the word of the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. This statement was absolutely unequivocal. So why are these campaigns still necessary? Surely we can take the word of a British Member of Parliament? Can’t we?

  2. Daily Mirror 12.10.2014
    --- The NHS has 9,700 fewer nurses than needed to match 2010 staffing levels.
    --- The population of England has soared by 2.2 million to 54.4 million in the last four years, but the number of nurses has fallen.
    --- There were 281,431 qualified nurses when the Tory led coalition came to power.
    --- Training for nurses has been cut by Government, the number of places has fallen from 20,829 in 2010 to 18,009 when population levels have been soaring over the last four years.
    --- A recent survey found that medics morale is plunging as they struggle with long waiting times, and the pressure at A+E units. Dr Peter Carter of the royal college of nursing said the shortages are forcing the NHS to spend more money employing agency nurses from abroad.

    Nothing new here one might say, but from all the public meetings we have had with BHRUT over the last four years, nobody told us this when they were trying to implement their reconfiguration plans. So the NHS want us to stop opposing plans to provide further cut backs when its their fault and if the problem was money from Government they should have raised a red flag.