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Health bosses: We can handle the extra work

PUBLISHED: 17:38 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:10 25 August 2010

BOSSES at a hospital expected to take on thousands of extra patients after a nearby A&E and maternity unit is axed, say they can handle the extra workload.

BOSSES at a hospital expected to take on thousands of extra patients after a nearby A&E and maternity unit is axed, say they can handle the extra workload.

The decision by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCTs) to axe Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, of it's A&E and maternity unit, means that Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford (DVH), will have to take on most of the emergency cases from Sidcup.

The committee who came up with the proposals to axe the services, A Picture of Health (APOH), estimated that DVH will have to take on more than 55 per cent of Sidcup's A&E cases by the end of 2011.

Out of 13,908 A&E cases which QMS deals with a year, 7,788 will be going to DVH, more than 10 miles away.

Princess Royal Hospital, Farnbrough (PRU) will get 3,060, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, will receive 974 and University Hospital, Lewisham, will receive 1,947.

But the A&E at Lewisham will only receive surgical emergencies for 12 hours a day, between 8am and 8pm.

The Dartford hospital will also see a 17.5 percent increase in maternity cases - an extra 578.

Chief executive Mark Devlin says it can handle thousands of extra patients a year if restructuring gets the green light.

He said: "We already provide services to Bexley residents and are confident that we can accommodate the extra patient activity associated with the review.

"We have modelled the proposed changes into our plans from 2009 onwards.

"As the hospital's activity grows we will be able to expand services, investing in more of the latest medical technology and treatments for local patients."

Bosses at DVH say the new maternity unit, heart centre and treatment centre mean that the hospital has the capacity.

But plans for the new buildings were put in place before it was announced that the Sidcup A&E was to be axed.

A spokesman said: "Two additional A&E consultants have been recruited with plans to increase this to six next year.

"We are currently redesigning the ward layout of our Clinical Decisions Unit to include more beds and facilitate faster decision making when patients need admission.

"Tests will take place sooner so that patients can be discharged home or moved to the appropriate ward faster.

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