May 20 2013 Latest news:
Kate Nelson , Acting News Editor
Thursday, July 12, 2012
An administrator has been appointed at debt-ridden South London Healthcare Trust by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, it was announced today.
The unprecedented action sees Matthew Kershaw take control over the Trust, which has accrued £150m debt in the past three years.
Staff were told this morning.
Mr Kershaw will assume full control of the trust, replacing the functions of the board.
Letters are being sent to the Chair and Directors informing them of their suspension from their board duties.
From Monday (16) Mr Kershaw will begin examining the problems at the Trust.
He will then produce a draft report to be published in Parliament by 29 October this year before overseeing a 30 working day period of consultation with patients, staff, the public. This will end on December 14.
The final report will have to be submitted to Lansley by January 8 and a decision on what action to take will be made by February 4 next year.
Lansley said: “Past efforts have not succeeded in putting the South London Healthcare Trust on a sustainable path.
“This will be a big challenge and my key objective for all NHS Trusts is to ensure they deliver high-quality services to patients that are clinically and financially sustainable for the long term.
“The purpose of the Trust special administrator is to ensure that services are high quality and to ensure a lasting clinical and financial solution.
“Matthew, working with clinicians, all other staff, commissioners, patients, the public and other stakeholders, must now drive the changes and shape a sustainable solution for South London Healthcare Trust and the local health economy.”
A “confidential” 100-page document seen by the Bromley Times in February detailed a possible plan of selling off Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup to save £12m a year.
It revealed how SLHT was only able to keep afloat because of non-repayable handouts from the Department of Health.
The Trust was losing £1m a week before Lansley made the shock administration announcement two weeks ago.
The documents stated all staff would be made redundant and not transferred to the trust’s other sites at the Princess Royal in Farnborough, Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich or Orpington Hospital.
Selling around a third of Queen Elizabeth’s land would make between £15m and £20m and the sale of Orpington Hospital raise £12m.
A consultation into the future of Orpington Hospital, and its possible closure, is due to start on Monday (16).