Whipps Cross Hospital Redevelopment: A letter from Chris Pallet, Chair (Redbridge Liberal Democrats) to Councillor Zammett:
17th November 2020
Councillor Neil Zammett
Health Scrutiny Committee
Whipps Cross Hospital Redevelopment
Dear Councillor Zammett,
I was pleased to see that Redbridge Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee discussed the redevelopment of Whipps Cross Hospital on 5 November.
As chair of Redbridge Liberal Democrats I am, however, concerned that Redbridge Council is not a partner for the redevelopment with Barts Health NHS Trust – unlike Waltham Forest Council. At a public meeting late in 2019, a hospital official stated that they “had struggled to engage” with Redbridge Council on this.
You will be aware that about 23% of the hospital’s services are for Redbridge residents and that these are vital for people living in the west of the borough.
There are many unanswered questions about the redevelopment. For example:
The redesign has fewer beds than the current hospital, as it places huge reliance on better care and support in the community. Services in the community are not mostly the responsibility of Barts Health NHS Trust and we have very little information about changes needed to those services or any discussions that have taken place with other NHS bodies or local councils.
Plans for increased reliance on digital services have taken inspiration from what has happened during the Covid pandemic. Yet, there remain huge questions about how far we should move away from face to face consultations, with professional bodies expressing some scepticism.
While it is good that the Committee discussed the redevelopment, I was concerned that your remarks (reported in the local Guardian) focussed on the impact on beds at King George Hospital. I hope this does not betoken a neglect of the potentially huge impact on people living in the west of the borough.
I am copying this letter to the Wanstead Guardian and to the Wanstead and Woodford Recorder.
Redbridge Liberal Democrats