Change Hospital Ownership to Secure its Future

Old Bexley & Sidcup MP James Brokenshire has called for Queen Mary’s Hospital to be transferred to a different NHS organisation to help secure the hospital’s long-term future.  The MP has written to local NHS Executives calling for the Sidcup hospital to be transferred from the South London Healthcare NHS Trust which currently owns and runs the site to the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust which operates urgent care and other services from Queen Mary’s.

In a joint letter to Dr Chris Streather and Stephen Firn, the respective Chief Executives of SLHT and Oxleas Trusts, James Brokenshire has urged the two organisations to work together “quickly, constructively and collaboratively” to bring about the change.  The local MP says that the transfer would secure existing and future services and confirm the long-term ownership and estates management plan for the hospital.  In the letter James Brokenshire adds:

“I know that significant work and progress has been made by South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT), Oxleas and others in developing the ‘campus’ proposal for Queen Mary’s offering a broad range of clinical and other health services delivered by a range of NHS organisations.  The recent news that the new radiotherapy centre for South East London is to be located at Queen Mary’s is a significant development and one that will markedly improve the care of cancer patients from this area who need radiotherapy treatment.  This is in addition to the opening of the Child Development Centre which I was very pleased to support just a few weeks ago.

“However, I am concerned that the continuing challenges in the finances of SLHT are a remaining obstacle to delivering the Campus Plan and a solution needs to be found to make the vision which we all share for Queen Mary’s become a reality.  I remain of the view that the only way to provide the long-term stability to enable the Campus Plan to flourish will be to see the day to day management of the hospital buildings and estate transferred to Oxleas as part of a managed property transfer of Queen Mary’s from SLHT to Oxleas.

Commenting James Brokenshire said:

“A great deal of progress has been made with the plan to secure the long-term future of Queen Mary’s and this has been boosted by some positive news of new services in the last few weeks.  However, the continuing question of the ownership and management of the hospital remains a key factor. 

“I’ve felt for some time that transferring the hospital site to Oxleas would provide stability and inject further confidence into the delivery plan to keep the hospital’s future on a positive track.  There are legal and technical issues to overcome, but I think it’s important that local NHS bodies sit down and work through them speedily to help get more services back onto Queen Mary’s at the earliest opportunity.”