MPs to discuss hospital plans with Health Secretary

James Brokenshire will join MPs from across South London at a special meeting with the Secretary of State for Health on Monday to consider plans put forward by the special NHS Administrator for changes to local hospital services.  The Old Bexley & Sidcup MP will urge the Health Secretary to adopt plans to secure the future of Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup but voice concerns about the impact of closing Lewisham Hospital’s A&E Department.

Matthew Kershaw, the Trust Special Administrator was appointed last summer to make recommendations for local hospital services in South East London after huge debt problems had started to question their viability.  The Administrator’s final proposals published on 8 January, if adopted, would put Queen Mary’s Hospital under new NHS ownership with clinical services provided by a number of different NHS organisations.  Recommendations also include the creation of a new NHS organisation to run Lewisham and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals with Lewisham losing its casualty department to become a centre for planned surgery.  The Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley would be taken over by King’s College Hospital under the plans.

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State, has to respond to the recommendations by the beginning of February.  He can either approve the Administrator’s proposals or put forward his own plans for hospitals in South London.  The Health Secretary told the House of Commons last week that he would be seeking clinical advice as well as financial input from officials on the Administrator’s report and would be considering this additional information “in enormous detail” before coming to any decisions.

Commenting James Brokenshire said:

“The Administrator’s recommendations finally offer stability and a clear future for Queen Mary’s and I’ll be urging the Health Secretary to get on with implementing the proposals.  I’ll also be backing plans to enable King’s College Hospital to take over the running of the Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough and use their world class expertise to drive up standards.

“Where I still have significant doubts is over the plans for emergency care and the closure of Lewisham’s A&E Department.  I remain to be convinced that the other emergency hospitals will have the capacity to cope with increased numbers of patients.  I’ll be underlining these serious concerns with the Health Secretary.”