James Brokenshire has said that recommendations on local hospital services announced today provide firm foundations for the future of Queen Mary's Hospital and a way forward for hospitals in South East London after huge debt problems had started to question their viability. James Brokenshire spoke to Matthew Kershaw - the Trust Special Administrator - late last night on his proposals for the South London Healthcare Trust and broader NHS services.
Commenting on the Administrator's report which makes recommendations for changes to hospital services in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham James Brokenshire said:
"The Administrator's recommendations set out a positive future for Queen Mary's. Putting the hospital under new NHS ownership is an essential step and something I've been urging for over a year. It will give Queen Mary's greater financial stability and extricate the hospital from the huge PFI burdens linked to neighbouring hospitals which have literally been sucking the life out of it.
"The new cancer treatment centre in Sidcup is a significant step forward for patients in Bexley and beyond. Endorsement of the so called 'campus plan' for a variety of hospital and community care which was supported by Bexley Council and local clinical groups is great news and the establishment of formal links with Darent Valley Hospital could provide opportunities for additional services in the future. If these proposals are endorsed they would create a solid foundation for Queen Mary's which I hope we would be able to strengthen further in the future.
"From the broader picture, it's right that clear proposals are now forthcoming to deal with the dire position of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust. Combining three struggling NHS organisations into one single body was very high risk and has ended up creating a super failing trust. The huge long-term and onerous liabilities attached to the PFI contacts signed up years before have also acted like a millstone dragging performance down.
"It's been apparent for some time that this simply could not continue. If action hadn't been taken through the appointment of the Administrator and confirmation from the Department of Health that additional funding would be made available to deal with the PFI problems, the sustainability of hospital services could have been drawn into serious question. There are points in the Administrators report which will need careful scrutiny, including capacity at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to meet patient demands, but on balance these proposals do offer a positive way forward."
A public consultation document in support of the Administrator's recommendations is expected to be published on Friday.
|Summary of Trust Special Administrator Proposals||305.77 KB|