Queen Mary's Hospital future secure as new owner's plans get thumbs up

Queen Mary's Hospital will be under new management from October 1.

Queen Mary's Hospital will be under new management from October 1.

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

THE immediate future of Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup has been secured after its new owner’s £30 million plans for the site were given the thumbs up.

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust will takeover the hospital on October 1 after its current operator South London Healthcare Trust is dissolved.

Plans to invest £30 million over five years to improve facilities at the site have been approved by the Oxleas governors and Monitor, the regulator of health services in England.

In an arrangement branded unique by the trust, Oxleas will be joined in providing services at Queen Mary’s by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and Bexley Council.

But there will be no new A&E department to replace the one closed ‘temporarily’ in 2009 but never reopened, according to Oxleas medical director Dr Ify Okocha.

Dr Okocha told News Shopper: "As far as we know there is no talk of that. We have been running an urgent care centre from the site for quite a few years which treats 40,000 people a year which we will continue to run."

News Shopper:

Dr Ify Okocha is excited about the future for Queen Mary's.  

The consultant psychiatrist sought to assure residents the trust was committed to Queen Mary’s after a decade of uncertainty around the hospital’s future and claimed having so many providers on one site would bring the best quality services to patients.

He said: "We are here, we are not going anywhere and we are financially quite robust.

"Oxleas is making it possible for all of these organisations to provide services for residents in the Bexley area and I think it’s quite exciting.

"It will be challenging but I am particularly pleased an NHS organisation has got it because it could be in private hands."

Dr Okocha was diplomatic over the fallout from the dissolution of debt-ridden South London Healthcare Trust which has seen the government take on campaigners over the future of A&E services at Lewisham Hospital.

He said: "What clinicians there tell me is that they are opposed to being dictated to in terms of how they should run the new organisation.

"I am torn because as a doctor in south east London and given the financial challenges we face, I understand the need to cut our cloth accordingly but at the same time we have to ensure that residents in the local area are not disadvantaged."

MPs welcome Oxleas

James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup said: "I am delighted that the transfer of Queen Mary's Hospital to Oxleas has been approved.

"It opens a new chapter for Queen Mary's, providing sound foundations for existing services as well as important new facilities such as the radiotherapy centre enabling patients to be treated in Sidcup.

"After years of uncertainty, this secures the positive future for the hospital so many people have urged.

News Shopper:

David Evennett outside Queen Mary's. 

"I welcome the new opportunities Oxleas ownership will provide for high quality healthcare services for the benefit of Bexley residents."

Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett added: "I strongly welcome this arrangement as I have campaigned to help secure the future of the Queen Mary’s Hospital site on behalf of my constituents.

"It ensures that important services can be provided for local people and I am pleased that Oxleas will invest in this site over the next five years. Oxleas are an excellent healthcare provider who I am sure will add real value."

Comments (2)

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8:40pm Tue 10 Sep 13

derekhope says...

Well... I have read the story. I am pleased the psychiatrist finds it all "quite exciting" and that Davis Evernnett and James Brokenshire welcome the new opportunities and speak of a new chapter for the hospital, but nobody appears to be saying what will be provided new or what has previously been taken away and might now be replaced, other than of course the ridiculous axing of the A&E which won't be reinstated. What about the daft situation where hundreds of blood tests are taken each day, but there is now no path lab to analyse the results, meaning that teams of couriers are on hand (During office hours) to take the bloods to Woolwich for processing and returning the results. What about the removal of operating equipment from the theatres meaning that nothing requiring more than a stitch or two cannot be performed. QMH will be a pale shadow of it's former self and "Real Hospitals" in Lewisham, Woolwich and Farnborough can't keep coping with accident and emergency patients from the area previously served by Queen Mary's. And what's this about Oxleas Trust being "financially quite robust". It's the "Quite" that concerns me. Look how much the previous outfit poured into the place and it still all went down the drain.
Well... I have read the story. I am pleased the psychiatrist finds it all "quite exciting" and that Davis Evernnett and James Brokenshire welcome the new opportunities and speak of a new chapter for the hospital, but nobody appears to be saying what will be provided new or what has previously been taken away and might now be replaced, other than of course the ridiculous axing of the A&E which won't be reinstated. What about the daft situation where hundreds of blood tests are taken each day, but there is now no path lab to analyse the results, meaning that teams of couriers are on hand (During office hours) to take the bloods to Woolwich for processing and returning the results. What about the removal of operating equipment from the theatres meaning that nothing requiring more than a stitch or two cannot be performed. QMH will be a pale shadow of it's former self and "Real Hospitals" in Lewisham, Woolwich and Farnborough can't keep coping with accident and emergency patients from the area previously served by Queen Mary's. And what's this about Oxleas Trust being "financially quite robust". It's the "Quite" that concerns me. Look how much the previous outfit poured into the place and it still all went down the drain. derekhope
  • Score: 12

9:21pm Wed 11 Sep 13

chelsea78 says...

Does that mean the the maternity dept will re open. Its such a shame it closed. I was born there, I had my eldest son there and if it hadn't closed I would of had my other children there, instead of going to a very busy hospital that couldn't even give me the care I needed. It would take the strain of neighboring hospitals when they have no room to deliver babies
Does that mean the the maternity dept will re open. Its such a shame it closed. I was born there, I had my eldest son there and if it hadn't closed I would of had my other children there, instead of going to a very busy hospital that couldn't even give me the care I needed. It would take the strain of neighboring hospitals when they have no room to deliver babies chelsea78
  • Score: 2

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