I’m disappointed but not surprised that the board of NHS London (London’s strategic health authority) yesterday voted to push ahead with the proposals in “A Picture of Health” (APOH).
It is worth remembering that NHS London was amongst the more vocal critics of Andrew Lansley’s plans to halt the Dazi changes of which APOH formed a part. Indeed the then Chairman, Richard Sykes, resigned in May 2010 over the Andrew’s decision to halt planned hospital reorganisations in London, which included the closure of A&E and maternity units at QMH and the introduction of polyclinics.
I have long felt that the management at both South London NHS trust and a NHS London have been committed to implementing the APOH plans irrespective of wishes of local people and politicians. I have long felt that the trust’s management didn’t use the fact that they had three hospitals under their control to redeploy staff and keep QMH running.
The ultimate decision on the future of QMH rests with the Secretary of State for Health who has had meetings with the local MPs and has visited the hospital recently. The fact that the PRUH is currently turning patients away because of an outbreak of Norovirus shows how fragile the provision of services would be if the QMH were to permanently lose services.