The ongoing struggle to save the Herongate and Galleon wards of Wanstead Hospital appears to have foundered in the bureaucratic morass that is Redbridge Council. Local residents remain implacably opposed to the closure of these excellent rehabilitation wards, as evidenced by a 5,000 strong petition handed in calling for their retention. This petition has been totally ignored.
Instead, there have been moves made first, to seek to move the work done by Herongate and Galleon wards to King Georges hospital in Ilford, now having found that this is not feasible they want to move the services even further away.
It is hard to believe that a democratically elected body like the council, upon seeing the strength of feeling on the ground has not done the right thing and referred the decision to shut the Wanstead Hospital wards to the Secretary of State. It would then be for him to decide what should happen next.
There is a growing belief that there are territorial battles going on in the council, with Wanstead once again being used as a political football by those who represent other parts of the borough. Local residents will not be so forgiving come the next election, if they believe elected representatives have been playing fast and lose with their healthcare.
* There is a meeting of the council's health scrutiny committee at 7.15pm on 6 July at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford. Members of the public may speak if they register in advance.