PERFORMANCE: The closure of maternity and accident and emergency services at Queen Mary’s Sidcup has led to services elsewhere being closed due to demand outstripping capacity.

Board papers from NHS Greenwich say that “performance has been affected by the knock-on effect of closure of the maternity and A&E at Queen Mary’s Sidcup”.

The papers say: “The Queen Elizabeth [hospital, Woolwich] has taken up demand, but such has the demand been that ambulances have been diverted as either hospital capacity (for patients requiring emergency admission) or A&E, have been closed.”

The trust says the same applies at Lewisham Hospital, “to a lesser extent”.

Those pressures were heightened by “unusual demands” for intensive care due to a winter flu outbreak, and continued for the rest of the 2010-11, NHS Greenwich says.

Some patients were diverted to King’s College Hospital as a result. The pressures, combined with the hospital’s hyper acute stroke unit and new admission wards mean that King’s has “significantly overspent against budget”, NHS Greenwich said.