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Consultation respondents say 'no' to A&E closure

PUBLISHED: 21:02 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010

THE majority of residents who responded to a consultation have rejected options to change A&E services in the area. A third of south-east London residents who responded to the

THE majority of residents who responded to a consultation have rejected options to change A&E services in the area.

A third of south-east London residents who responded to the A Picture of Health consultation into downgrading health services in the area said that none of the proposed options were suitable.

Some 2,469 residents rejected any option to close the A&E at Queen Mary Hospital, Sidcup with only 1,949 who chose the most popular option out of the total three.

Director of the Centre for Health Management at the Imperial College London, Professor Rifat Atun who presented the consultation results today at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich said more than 8,000 responded, the majority being Bexley and Bromley residents.

All options in the consultation proposed to close Queen Mary Hospital, Sidcup.

Option one - to keep an A&E department in Lewisham but to stop emergency surgery or paediatric services - was chosen by 23.3 per cent respondents.

Option two - to keep A&E as it is in Lewisham but takes away children's assessment and treatment services - was chosen by 17.8 per cent.

Option three, closing the A&E at Lewisham, was chosen by 16.3 per cent.

Professor Atun said respondents were concerned about the increase in hospital infections and access to services by public transport but were less concerned about new buildings.

Bexley councillor Sharon Massey said: "I am not surprised by the results. They are predictable. What the consultation document asked and what the questionnaire asked are different things. The whole consultation left me feeling confused. It was not open.

"The document didn't ask simple questions, like did we want to close Accident and Emergency. The options that they gave were all hearts and flowers."

Bexley and Bromley London Assembly member James Cleverly said: "The Department of Health need to take a step back and take a long, hard look at this. They are obsessed with getting the results and need to look at what people say."

All the Imperial findings are available on at www.apictureofhealth.nhs.uk.

The consultation report will be reviewed by the Joint Committee of PCTs which is scheduled to meet in public later this summer.

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