James Brokenshire has welcomed the announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to give the green light to plans to secure the future of Queen Mary’s Hospital. Under the proposals Queen Mary’s would be put under new NHS ownership with clinical services - including a new radiotherapy centre - being provided by a number of NHS organisations.
The Health Secretary confirmed plans originally set out by the Trust Special Administrator appointed to address crippling and unsustainable debts at the South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT). Queen Mary’s would be transferred from SLHT to the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and continue to offer a broad range of hospital services from Sidcup. Some specialist services would be provided by King’s College Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trusts underpinned by local NHS organisations delivering outpatient facilities, day case surgery and other clinical care.
Commenting, James Brokenshire said:
"I welcome the Secretary of State's confirmation of proposals which will secure Queen Mary's. It will provide the hospital with a solid backbone of healthcare services and I am already exploring options as to how additional facilities can be added in the future. Detailed implementation has to be worked through and I’ve said to the Health Secretary we now need to get on with the work to make this happen as quickly as possible.
“Of course, this wouldn’t have been my starting point. But against the backdrop of some saying that the whole hospital could be shut as a result of the South London Healthcare Trust effectively going bust, after years of crippling uncertainty, I believe the hospital can now finally look to the future with some degree of confidence.”
In other proposals announced by the Secretary of State, the NHS bodies running the Lewisham and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals would merge with earlier suggestions that Lewisham should lose its A&E being rejected. The Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough would be taken over by King’s College Hospital.
"It’s right that A&E services are to continue at Lewisham Hospital. Legitimate concerns were raised about the original proposals for emergency care. I’m please the Secretary of State has reflected on the representations made and taken a different approach from the closure option advocated by the Administrator.
"The Secretary of State's plans deal with the mess of the South London Healthcare Trust whilst focussing on patient care and putting hospital services onto a sustainable footing. Doing nothing simply wasn't an option.”