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Hospital under fire for mothballed wards

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A NEWLY-BUILT hospital in Essex came under fire from health campaigners this week after it emerged that two wards have remained closed, despite high levels of patient demand.

Queens Hospital in Romford, which opened in late 2006 and is run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, has admitted that two wards have been left idle during the busy Christmas period.

Pressure group London Health Emergency said the wards have been left closed because of financial pressures on the trust, which has built the hospital using private finance initiative (PFI) funding.

Geoff Martin, Health Emergency Head of Campaigns, said: ‘It is clear that Queens Hospital is under massive pressure from the emergency patient demand which makes a nonsense of their policy of keeping two wards mothballed. We have no doubt the real issue is money.’

A hospital spokesperson said: ‘All new hospitals have mothballed wards. It makes sense to build them with extra capacity as the population is expected to grow.’
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