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Axed unit among the best'

PUBLISHED: 10:55 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:54 12 August 2010

AN ACCIDENT and emergency unit due to close has received an outstanding plaudit from patients in an independent report. A&E staff at Queen Mary s Hospital, Sidcup (QMS) were frequently rated among the best 20 per cent in London in a patient survey conduc

AN ACCIDENT and emergency unit due to close has received an outstanding plaudit from patients in an independent report.

A&E staff at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup (QMS) were frequently rated among the best 20 per cent in London in a patient survey conducted by the Healthcare Commission.

The survey published last Wednesday asked users 33 questions on issues ranging from treatment to car parking. In two thirds of the questions, QMS was rated amongst the best 20 per cent of all London Trusts. Bexley council's Cabinet member for health Sharon Massey said: "I am not surprised to hear that Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup is rated so highly by users.

"This is why it is so important to continue our fight to retain A&E, not only is it essential for Bexley residents it is also one of the best in south east London."

Under plans created by the reconfiguration group A Picture of Health, the A&E at QMS will be closed so the site can become elective surgery only, with an Urgent Care Centre. Yet neighbouring hospital's emergency units, who will take on more patients if QMS's unit closes, did not perform as well.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust in Woolwich came in the lowest scoring 20 per cent of London trusts in almost two thirds of the questions.

The A&E at Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust (BHT) was rated largely as average for a London trust, but came in the lowest 20 per cent for waiting times.

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel is currently investigating A Picture of Health's decision at the request of Bexley council.

A report is due to be submitted to the secretary of state for health by March 31.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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