Below is the reply from Mr Hunt's office refusing to intervene to re-open the 24 acute beds cut by BHRUT from King George Hospital.
The second letter is from Ben Gummer MP to Jas Athwal declining to overturn the decision to close King George Hospital A&E.
I have written to Ben Gummer the following:
Dear Mr Gummer
Please Honour your Guarantee to Redbridge Residents
Cllr Athwal has kindly given me your letter of 17 September where you refuse to intervene to stop the closure of King George A&E.
On 27 October the Department of Health issued a statement saying that Redbridge residents would not come to harm as a consequence of the plans to close KGH A&E. The article is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/barking-havering-and-redbridge-university-hospitals-nhs-trust
The wording of the guarantee is:
"However, 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."
So far this year 34 acute beds have been closed at King George and Queens Hospitals. The December BHRUT board papers show resident's have been put in harm's way as a consequence. Page board papers here http://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/about-us/trust-board-papers.htm show bed occupancy at
Queens Hospital at 94.67% getting close to the level at which Queens would have to be closed to ambulances until the bed occupancy improved. A&E four hour waiting times have risen as a consequence to 90.23%. There is a lot evidence linking waiting times and high bed occupancy to poor patient outcomes including an increase in death rates. An example is at
"We know that speed of treatment is vital in many conditions. For example, people with the most severe form of pneumonia have less than a one in two chance of surviving. Those chances improve considerably if effective treatment is started early. However, research suggests that delays of more than four hours in administration of antibiotics to patients coming into hospital with pneumonia can affect 70 per cent of patients on days when an A&E is crowded. (Pine JM et al, 2005)This undoubtedly affects mortality."
One of the drivers behind the bed closures is the need to make room at King George Hospital for community beds from other units being closed. This is part of the plan to close King George Hospital A&E at page 63 of the Health for north east London decision making business case.
Our local NHS is being harmed as a result of these bed cuts. I ask you to honour the guarantee given to Redbridge residents and to put the beds, doctors and nurses back into our hospitals.
120 Blythswood Road IG3 8SG