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A&E shutdown will lead to 30 per cent capacity rise’

PUBLISHED: 18:00 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:45 16 August 2010

THE closure of an A&E and maternity department will lead to a 30 per cent increase in capacity to nearby hospitals in an incredibly short time-scale . The closure of the A&E and maternity department at Queen Mary s Hospital, Sidcup (QMS) will mean the

THE closure of an A&E and maternity department will lead to a "30 per cent increase in capacity" to nearby hospitals in an "incredibly short time-scale".

The closure of the A&E and maternity department at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup (QMS) will mean the nearby Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich will see a 20 to 30 per cent increase.

Members of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JPCTs) unanimously decided last Monday to opt for an amended version of Option Two of the proposals put forward by the A Picture of Health (APOH) committee.

This includes stripping QMS of its A&E and maternity and opening University Hospital Lewisham's A&E for only 12 hours a day, despite widespread opposition.

Chief Executive of Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust Michael Marchment told a board meeting last Thursday that the hospital is 18 months away from "organisational change".

Mr Marchment said: "By 2011 at the latest there will be a 20 to 30 per cent increase in activity as we have today, in the two departments.

"We expected elective surgery to move from the hospitals to Bromley and Woolwich.

"We expected the maternity for the population serviced by four hospitals to go onto one site, but it is now going onto two sites in Bromley and Woolwich.

"That is an increase of 30 per cent for Bromley and Woolwich.

"APOH have also responded to a number of issues we have raised, including day surgery.

"It makes sense to keep day surgery on the four sites."

Chairman of the Trust Board Huw Alderman added: "2011 is the target date.

"It does seem a long way away but it is not."

A spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth Hospital said: "We made it quite clear we had issues about a need for additional capacity and we were very pleased it states that there will be no changes or transfers until there is additional capacity in place.

"As they rightly said these are our pressure points.

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