Commenting on reports of a plan to close Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup contained in board papers published by the South London Healthcare Trust on its website, James Brokenshire said:
“I have received explicit assurances from both the local hospital trust and NHS London that there is absolutely no intention to close our local hospital. Indeed, it flies in the face of current work to strengthen planned surgery in Sidcup.
“Proposals are being developed to enhance facilities at Queen Mary’s in conjunction with local GPs and Bexley Council to improve patient care and secure its long term future. At a time when this positive work is being advanced, it is very unhelpful that what amounts to little more than speculation for a ‘what if’ worst case scenario not expected to occur should have been released in this way.
“Given the financial position of South London Healthcare Trust and the significant debts it continues to rack up, it is absolutely right that a recovery plan is developed. This should include more integrated working with other local NHS organisations such as Oxleas as well as central London teaching institutions such as King’s and Guy’s & St Thomas’s Hospitals. I have long urged for this to be advanced and I am pleased that this is now being examined.
“Rather than remote speculation on an improbable doomsday scenario, it is this urgent tangible work that should be prioritised to underpin a positive future for our local hospital services.”