Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP this week delivered his Statement on the future of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust in the House of Commons.
The Health Secretary’s plans include the following:
- The trust will be dissolved, with each of its hospitals taken over by a neighbouring trust;
- The three hospitals within South London Healthcare NHS Trust (Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, Queen Mary’s in Sidcup, and the Princess Royal in Bromley) will have to make the full £74.9 million of efficiencies identified by the Trust Special Administrator;
- Premises which are vacant, and premises which are deemed to be poorly utilised, will be sold where possible.
Services at University Hospital Lewisham will be significantly reduced:
- While the hospital will retain a 24/7 A & E department, it will not offer a full A & E service;
- The maternity unit will be severely downgraded, from an obstetrician-led maternity unit to a midwife-led birthing centre.
In response to his Statement, Teresa firmly asked the Health Secretary:
“When modelling future need, what account did the administrator or the Secretary of State take of the fact that there will be increased health needs due to the increases in child poverty and homelessness in my constituency, as is predicted by every expert on these matters?
The efficiency proposals rely to a large extent on keeping vulnerable elderly people out of hospital and caring for them in the community. Given the local authority budget cuts and the fact that some private companies that deliver those services in Bexley in my area are slashing the wages and conditions of staff, how does the Secretary of State think those services will be improved?
Will he urgently review the services for elderly people to ensure that they stack up with the proposals that he has outlined today? This morning, the Secretary of State has said a number of times that these plans will save lives. I sincerely hope that he is right. If time shows that he is not right, will he resign?”