My recent visit to Queen Mary’s Hospital showed the positive future for the hospital and the strengthening of the range of services provided from Sidcup. I was pleased to see work had commenced on the second floor of the main building, which will provide new, state-of-the-art dental and ophthalmology facilities, opening at the end of 2019. The highly specialised orthodontic service for adults and children includes oral and maxillofacial, restorative dentistry and will have 14 dental chairs. The Ophthalmology service will diagnose and provide medical and surgical treatment for a wide range of eye conditions in adults, young people and children, including injuries, glaucoma, and cataracts.
After years of uncertainty and serious doubts over Queen Mary’s future we are now seeing the benefits of an investment plan to enhance facilities for patients in this area. The opening of the new Cancer Treatment Centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Spring 2017 also marked a significant step forward for our local hospital. The new cancer centre is something I campaigned long and hard for over many years. Patients are able to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment in outer south east London for the very first time, preventing the need to travel into Central London. The new Dimbleby Macmillan Support Centre also offers information and advice to both patients and their families. Having been a regular visitor as the building works have progressed, I am in no doubt this flagship facility will transform care in this area.
I was honoured to have been asked to ‘re-open’ the new Queen Mary’s Hospital last year following the £30 million investment in new state of the art facilities to help transform the NHS care provided locally. The transformation included new facilities for out-patients, women’s services, musculoskeletal therapies and cardiology and encompassed improvements to the Urgent Care Centre. This is coupled with the opening of the Meadowview Intermediate Care ward, the Holbrook specialist dementia ward and a fantastic new Children’s Development Centre. I pay tribute to the team at Oxleas for having the vision and commitment to drive these changes forward in conjunction with Guy’s & St Thomas’s, Kings and other NHS organisations.
The ‘re-opening’ of Queen Mary’s Hospital was also a chance to reflect on 100 years of medical history in Sidcup starting with the pioneering plastic surgery of Professor Harold Gillies. Since the establishment of the original Queen’s Hospital in 1917 treating soldiers wounded during the Great War, through the establishment of the current Queen Mary’s Hospital in 1929 and the construction of the main hospital building in the 1970s, our local hospital has seen continued change. There is little doubt that there have been some significant ups and downs during this time. But this new programme of investment consigns the dark days of the failed South London Healthcare Trust and the loss of services to the past and opens up a bright new chapter.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the doctors, nurses, staff and all those who have campaigned consistently for our local hospital, Queen Mary’s can look to the future with confidence.