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Bexley MP supports new report on dissolving South London NHS Trust
THE MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup has come out in support of recommendations to dissolve the South London Healthcare NHS Trust.
The trust's special administrator, Matthew Kershaw, produced a report today saying the trust should be dissolved and other organisations should take over its management and deliver its NHS services.
He said Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, should be developed into a Bexley Health Campus owned by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.
Mr Kershaw said empty or poorly used premises should be exited (if they are leased) or sold (if they are freeholds).
Mr Kershaw was appointed to run the debt-ridden trust after it was plunged into administration in July having ended 2011 with a deficit of £69m.
In addition he recommends the transformation in services provided in the area – in relation to community based care, emergency, maternity and elective services.
He said the operational efficiency of South London Healthcare NHS Trust needs to improve to be in line with strong performing NHS organisations.
He also recommended the Department of Health provides additional funds to the local NHS to cover the excess costs of the private finance initiative buildings at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, and the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough.
Mr Brokenshire spoke with Mr Kershaw late last night on his proposals for the South London Healthcare Trust and broader NHS services.
He 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 is 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."