South London Healthcare Trust, a toxic financial legacy

Queen Mary's HospitalThis morning’s news that South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT)which runs Queen Mary’s Sidcup, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, could be put into administration was a yet another element in what has been a long story of bad news.

Back in 2007 Labour’s Darzi Plan identified Queen Mary’s hospital in Sidcup as an easy target for cut because of huge financial burden imposed on SE London’s other hospitals by badly negotiated PFI schemes.  I have felt for some time that the trust’s management have failed to create an proper alternative plan to the Labour reorganisation.

SLHT has been losing £1 million a week and posted the largest deficit in England of £69.8 million in 2011/12 alone. Andrew Lansley, The Secretary of State for Health, has had a policy of not overruling local NHS management, but in this case the financial situation has meant that this is no longer an option.

He notified the Trust yesterday (25 June 2012) that he is likely to put it under the control of a special NHS administrator with powers to make recommendations on how to turn the finances around.  I am meeting with Local MP James Brokenshire on Thursday and will discuss ways of ensuring the potential management will protect the services as Queen Mary’s and continue the plans for new services to to brought to the area as part of the QMH Heath Campus.  I know that James has already spoken to the Health Secretary on this issue.

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