South London Healthcare Trust to go into administration
PUBLISHED: 16:42 26 June 2012
Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup is one of three in a south-east London healthcare trust that is on the verge of going into administration
South London Healthcare Trust, which also owns Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich and Princess Royal in Farnborough Common, Orpington, has had well-documented financial problems since being formed in 2009 from three separate trusts.
Helen Ellis of the Patient Action Group said: “This is a sad day for the hospital but it was inevitable.
“You can’t cram them all into another trust, think how that would affect the patients?”
John Hemming-Clark, of Independents to Save Queen Mary’s Hospital, added: “A hospital going bust is the sort of announcement we expect from a third-world country.”
SLHT is over £150 million in debt and has made significant cutbacks, most notably at the Frognal Avenue site in Sidcup.
Queen Mary’s saw both the maternity and accident and emergency wards closed down in 2010 and the Patient Action Group has carried out a number of protests against the trust, most recently last month outside Queen Elizabeth.
Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire said: “It’s been clear for some time that SLHT simply isn’t sustainable and remains burdened with debts it can’t repay.
“Today’s announcement is more of a sad inevitability than a surprise.”
The trust will be the first in the country to be put under the control of an administrator tasked with sorting out its finances.
Keep Our NHS Public are holding a protest outside the Woolwich hospital this morning in reaction to the news.
A statement from SLHT said: “We have entered into discussions with the Department of Health and NHS London on the best future for the Trust and our priority, and that of others involved, is to make sure that our long-standing and well-known financial issues are resolved.
“We expect these discussions to come to a conclusion in the second week in July when a decision will be taken by the Secretary of State.”
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