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Cancer ward closure at Queen Mary's Sidcup sparks anger

PUBLISHED: 11:07 02 December 2010

Queen Mary's Hospital

Queen Mary's Hospital

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A busy cancer ward is closing meaning that in-patients will have to be moved to a hospital in another borough.

The last patients at the in-bed haematology and oncology Gillies ward at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup were moved to the Princess Royal in Farnborough on Tuesday.

Hospital bosses blamed the cancer ward closure on the ‘temporary’ axing of Sidcup’s Accident and Emergency on November 24, as patients on the Gillies ward may need close access to emergency services.

But patients were only told about the closure on November 22, less than a week before the closure.

The daughter of a terminal cancer patient who uses the day centre at Sidcup, said: “It is full everyday. My mum has cancer so has been going there for two years. It is quite obvious they are trying to get rid of the hospital all together.

“I am not impressed. The staff are rushed off their feet. It comes as a big surprise. It is very unsettling. My mum knows the nurses on first name basis. I feel this has been carved up without letting people know properly.”

The daughter of the patient, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “My mother is old and frail and cancer patients get lots of infections and if they need to go to A&E they will now have to go to Woolwich or Bromley.

“My mum is concerned and so was everyone who was given the letter.”

Outpatient services at Sidcup will remain but the opening days have been reduced and patients have been informed that these could change again or they may eventually have to go to Queen Elizabeth’s in 
Woolwich.

Cancer patients have also been warned to take their patient records to the Bromley and Woolwich hospitals, if they need emergency care.

A spokesperson for the hospital trust said: “The oncology ward will be moving as oncology inpatients may need critical care facilities and critical care is moving to Queen Elizabeth’s and the Princess Royal sites.”

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