“Listen to the voice of the community and secure the future of Queen Mary’s Hospital”. That was the clear message to the Administrator currently running the Sidcup hospital as local campaigners took part in a demonstration calling on him to commit to Queen Mary’s.
Campaigners gathered on The Green in Sidcup on Saturday morning to underline their support for the future of Queen Mary’s as part of the “QM Yes” Campaign. Those attending the demonstration which had been organised by Old Bexley & Sidcup MP James Brokenshire included Bexleyheath & Crayford MP David Evennett and Councillor Teresa O’Neill the Leader of Bexley Council as well as representatives from a number of community organisations.
Hospitals in Bexley, Bromley & Greenwich – including Queen Mary’s – are currently being run by an administrator under a special measures regime after the South London NHS Trust which had previously been responsible for local hospital services got into severe financial difficulties questioning their continued sustainability. Matthew Kershaw, the Administrator, will be publishing a report at the end of October making recommendations on how hospital services in this area should be taken forward in the light of the Trust’s troubled position.
The “QM Yes” Campaign is seeking to press the Administrator to commit to the long term future of Queen Mary’s as part of his recommendations. This includes:
• Putting QMS under new NHS ownership to provide much needed financial stability;
• Adding new hospital services at Sidcup such as a new radiotherapy centre to improve cancer care; and
• Implementing the so-called ‘campus plan’ allowing different NHS organisations to run clinical and other services at Queen Mary’s including planned surgery, diagnostics and urgent care to better meet the needs of the community.
Commenting after the rally James Brokenshire said:
“This was very much an opportunity for the community to underline how important Queen Mary’s is to local people. It was great to see just how many came along to show their support.
“I recognise that some people are concerned that as a result of the administration Queen Mary’s future may be called into in question. I don’t share this view and believe that by putting the hospital under new NHS ownership and implementing the so called ‘campus plan’ with different health providers offering a range of services at the site, the hospital can look forward with confidence.
“When the Administrator publishes his report in just a few days’ time, I want him to make the positive vision for the hospital become a reality. I hope he listens to the feelings of people at the rally and says ‘yes’ to the future of Queen Mary’s Sidcup.”