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Thousands call for A&E to return at Queen Mary's Hospital

PUBLISHED: 15:07 17 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:30 17 August 2016

Queen Mary's Hospital Sidcup

Queen Mary's Hospital Sidcup

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A petition has been handed into MP Bob Neill

Fresh calls to reinstate an A&E department in the area have been made from a local group, claiming other hospitals are becoming overcrowded.

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for the reinstatement of the A&E to be returned at Queen Mary’s Hospital, as well as its maternity services.

Six years on from its closure, campaigners from Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich branch of the National Health Action Party have handed the petition over to Bromley MP Bob Neill.

Judith Wright, from the party, said: “Bob Neill was one of a number of local MPs who, before the 2010 generel election, said he would try to stop the threatened closure of services at the hospital.

“Unfortunately, both the A&E department and the maternity unit have been removed.

“This has caused overcrowding at other hospitals in the area.

Ms Wright claims the petition will now be handed over to the chief executive officer of NHS England, Simon Stevens.

“We would be concerned if Mr Stevens could not see the strength of feeling amongst local people and did not consider re-instating these vital services” she added.

Since the department’s closures, the nearest A&E’s for residents in an emergency are at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Wooliwch and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough, both of which are more than four miles away.

In 2010, the A&E closed for the winter following fears it could not meet patient demand.

The departments were downgraded in 2013, the same year the hospital’s former operator, South London Healthcare Trust, was dissolved.

A spokesperson for NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The plans to change NHS services in south-east London were approved in December 2010, prior to the establishment of the CCG.

“In the past two and a half years, major investment and improvement has and continues to be devoted to Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup to ensure it continues to provide valuable healthcare for people in Bexley.

“This has included the introduction of a 24 -hour, seven day-a-week urgent care centre and GP out-of-hours service, and work is underway to introduce a new cancer centre and a new kidney treatment centre.”

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