Cut spending madness’

PUBLISHED: 15:41 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:35 25 August 2010

PRIMARY Care Trusts are being asked to pay up to half a million pounds a year to downgrade hospitals .

PRIMARY Care Trusts are being asked to pay up to half a million pounds a year to 'downgrade hospitals'.

Committee A Picture of Health (APOH), which proposed to slash Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, (QMS) of its A&E and maternity unit have asked Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham PCTs to fork out up to £500,000 a year for them to implement the cuts.

Last year, each PCT contributed approximately £120,000 to APOH, but this was split between Lambeth and Southwark. Under the new plans these two PCTs will pay a much smaller contribution.

APOH also put forward the people they want their top jobs to go to.

These include the Medical Director at QMS, Roger Smith, recommended to be the clinical Senior Responsible Officer for the Clinical Redesign Project Board (CRPB),Chief Executive for Bexley Care Trust Anthony McKeever to Chair the APOH business planning project board (BPPB) and the Chief Executive of Greenwich PCT Jane Schofield to become the chair of CRPB.

Bexley councillor Sharon Massey said: "We would rather the £2 million on frontline services instead of administration. The people who are going to drive this through are people who the residents of Bexley don't have any trust in. Roger Smith was booed at a meeting where more than 300 residents turned up to.

"Think of how £500,000 could help the elderly residents of Bexley, think of how many operations you could perform with that."

Each PCT are due to agree these proposals at their board meetings next month.

Interim Programme Director for APOH, Oliver Lake, said: "The indicative budget does not affect frontline services. The full implementation plan with resourcing costs will be published in the new year.

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