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Recommendations that led to shake up

PUBLISHED: 10:45 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:41 25 August 2010

Key Points from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel s recommendations...

Key Points from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel's recommendations...

* The Panel said that it was unacceptable to have 12-hour A&E cover at University Hospital, Lewisham, and recommended it retain 24-hour emergency surgery.

Yet it was considered acceptable that Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, lose its A&E unit entirely.

* Contrary to APOH proposals to axe all vital services at QMS, the IRP recommended that the Sidcup hospital retain a midwife-led birthing unit.

However all doctor-led maternity services will be centralised on other hospital sites. Bexley mothers experiencing difficulties in childbirth would need to be taken to another hospital to see a doctor.

* GP-led Urgent Care Centres (UCC) being located at every hospital site was supported by the IRP. They will provide 24-hour cover for most walk-in and ambulance cases.

The UCC at QMS was built ahead of the APoH plans getting the go ahead. It has reportedly dealt with 50 per cent of incoming patients

Yet severely injured patients will still have to be sent to an A&E unit or a specialist unit in central London.

* The movement of planned surgery from Orpington Treatment Centre to QMS was supported by the IRP, making QMS and UHL primarily planned surgery sites.

The 66-bed Orpington hospital now faces an uncertain future despite being built in 2003 and helping to fight MRSA by separating inpatients from outpatients.

* The Panel recommended that a Transport Group become active as soon as possible to mitigate the effect of residents travelling across boroughs for treatment.

Bexley residents will benefit from having a "cutting edge" planned surgery centre, said Dr Chris Streather, though it will mean more traffic directed to Sidcup from other boroughs.

The nearest hospital to QMS is Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, six miles away.

* The Panel supported axing all children's inpatient beds at QMS.

The 24-hour paediatric unit at QMS was only opened in October 2007, at a cost of £200,000, half of which was raised by the hard work of volunteers.

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