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Yes to vital' hospital merge

PUBLISHED: 17:46 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:15 25 August 2010

A HOSPITAL merger must go ahead to avoid a staffing crisis, according to a health trust chairman.

A HOSPITAL merger must go ahead to avoid a staffing crisis, according to a health trust chairman.

Health Minister Alan Johnson is set to endorse a proposed merger of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital NHS Trust (QEH), Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trust (QMS) and Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust (BHT) which was given the go-ahead by NHS London last Wednesday.

QEH chairman Colin Campbell, who was also chair of QMS for from 1992 to 2000, said he has been proposing a merger for more than 10 years.

The Bexley councillor said: "When I first arrived at QMS I could see that it could not survive as it is too small a hospital and I argued for it to merge with Bromley.

"If we don't merge now, the difficulty is going to be pulling a management team together in a year's time.

"Between the three we will find it much easier to attract staff and QMS have huge recruitment problems at the moment because of the uncertainty they face and because it is a small.

"We have got clinicians and nurses we can't recruit. If there is further uncertainty it doesn't help that."

George Jenkins, 60, has been appointed chairman of the new 'supertrust', which is to be called South London Healthcare NHS Trust.

He is currently chairman of the East Kent Hospitals trust and was seconded to the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust immediately after the superbug outbreak killed 90 patients.

The interviews for the new chief executive of the Trust were conducted by NHS London on Monday. A decision is expected at end of this week.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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