Old Bexley & Sidcup MP James Brokenshire has pressed senior NHS Executives this week to put health services back onto Queen Mary's Hospital and get on with plans to secure the long term future of the Sidcup hospital.
The local MP met Ruth Carnall, the Chief Executive of NHS London on Wednesday and Chris Streather, the Chief Executive of the South London Healthcare Trust on Friday stressing the need to move ahead quickly with the Queen Mary’s ‘Campus’ proposals and to set out the positive vision for the hospital’s future. Earlier this year all local health agencies - as well as Bexley Council’s Health & Wellbeing Board - agreed outline proposals for the hospital to become a ‘health campus’ with multiple health providers offering a range of primary care, diagnostic and other hospital services from Queen Mary’s. Proposals could include the creation of a new specialist radiotherapy centre offering cancer treatment locally.
During the meetings, NHS London confirmed to James Brokenshire that they are providing expert economic analysis and support into the development of the QMH Campus business plan to validate the robustness of the plan and speed up its approval process. An initial business case will be presented to NHS London in September with approval for the final outline business case being sought in December. In the interim, South London Healthcare Trust told the MP that they would be pressing ahead with the transfer of more elective care onto Queen Mary’s from the Trust’s other hospitals with a view to Queen Mary’s becoming the main centre for hip replacements and other similar planned in-patient surgery by the end of the year.
Commenting James Brokenshire said:
“The ‘health campus’ proposals offer a potentially bright future for Queen Mary’s and it’s imperative that we get behind the plans and turn them into a reality. Part of this involves short-term change with the migration of services back into Sidcup rather than it seemingly being just one-way traffic in the other direction.
“In this regard, I’m cautiously encouraged by what the local hospital trust have said about the proposed increase in planned surgery and work that has already been implemented on gynaecology. They’ve now got to deliver on these commitments.
“Looking at the longer term, it’s clear that there is a great deal of work being carried out by NHS organisations and the Council to deliver a robust business case for the campus plan. This is absolutely essential work being led by the Bexley GP Commissioning team and I welcome the additional input being provided by NHS London.”
“These proposals may not ultimately deliver the same range of services previously offered at Queen Mary’s, but they would secure the hospital’s future and form the platform from which further specialist care can be added later. I’m particularly keen that we get radiotherapy services at Queen Mary’s so that local people needing cancer treatment aren’t forced to travel up to Central London to receive the care they need.
“Of course there is still some way to go before these plans are secured, but I sense that the will is now there and the way forward is becoming a lot clearer.”
James Brokenshire will be meeting with the Health Minister, Simon Burns MP, shortly to seek support from the Department of Health for the Campus Plan. James is also contacting key NHS Foundation Trusts to seek their backing and partnership for the provision of radiotherapy services at Queen Mary’s.
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For further information, please contact James Brokenshire on 020 7219 8400