From the Ilford Recorder, 12 April 2011 (story by Edwina Ellington).
A Barkingside chronic fatigue sufferer has hit out at a planned closure of a hospital unit which she has described as a “lifeline”.
Lindsey Gurrey, of Connors Close, voiced concerns over the closure of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome department at Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
The 48-year-old says she fears she may relapse without the specialist care, which includes counselling, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
But a Barking Havering and Redbridge spokesman said the department was only being used by three to four people.
“With the retirement of our lead consultant Professor Findley and associate specialist who have developed and delivered this service, we have to review whether we can continue to offer this type of care.
“There has also been limited and declining demand for our inpatient treatment, as health organisations across the country seek to offer care closer to home. Just three to four patients use this service at the moment, and this is declining.”
Miss Gurrey received a letter saying the unit would be placed in a 30 day review, because both doctors were to retire, leaving the specialist department without managers.
“It has been so tough just getting diagnosed, because it’s a relatively little known illness. “If this service closes, there’s no where nearby I can go it, it’s like I am being shut out in the cold.”
A trust spokesman added: “A decision on the department’s future will be made in May after reviewing feedback. We are unable to accept new patients for inpatient treatment before a final decision is made about the future of the service, and new staff recruited.
“Comments on the review are being invited from clinicians, patients and organisations with an interest. These can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Consultation, Trust Offices, Queen’s Hospital, Romford.”