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Losing A&E will see end of Queen Mary’s’

PUBLISHED: 18:30 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 25 August 2010

THE Shadow Health Minister has warned a hospital could not survive if it loses its Accident and Emergency department.

EXCLUSIVE

THE Shadow Health Minister has warned a hospital could not survive if it loses its Accident and Emergency department.

Andrew Lansley MP spent two hours touring Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup (QMS) last Wednesday before meeting members of Old Bexley and Sidcup Conservatives, in their offices in Station Road, Sidcup.

Mr Lansley said merging hospital trusts was no way to deal with debt and said he could see no evidence that services would be safer if they were concentrated on fewer sites.

He said: "Hospitals get £77 for an A&E attendance and £30 for Urgent Care Centre attendance, and the PCT is saying QMS will do it all in the Urgent Care Centre.

"How can QMS survive if we take away all their money?

"I was quite astonished that residents were being told services were required to be concentrated on reduced sites to make them safe.

"I have not seen any evidence that that is necessary."

He said that wiping out the 'enormous' debts of the hospitals was not the answer as it will send a message out to other hospitals that if they rack up debts, it will be paid off.

As revealed in the Times, Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough and QMS have already made moves towards a merger.

They have merged their director of Estates position and Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust have not hired a permanent Chief Executive since January last year, avoiding a large redundancy payout should the post be scrapped.

Already IT, legal, communication and procurement services have merged between the two.

Since September last year Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust began managing the public mortuary service for QMS and in March this year they began managing their instrument sterilisation service.

But Mr Lansley warned against this saying the merger in Yorkshire of three district hospitals did not solve their debt problems.

Meanwhile the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSCH) is due to meet next Monday at Greenwich Town Hall in Woolwich to finalise their referral to the Secretary of State for Health.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk


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