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Queen Mary’s campaign gets Forum attention

PUBLISHED: 16:31 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:27 01 July 2010

THE GOVERNMENT has refused to say whether it will pay health Trust debts after a patients group claim it is the only way forward. Queen Mary s Hospital Patients Forum say the government must step in to pay the millions of debt run up by PFI hospitals

THE GOVERNMENT has refused to say whether it will pay health Trust debts after a patients' group claim it is the only way forward.

Queen Mary's Hospital Patients Forum say the government must step in to pay the millions of debt run up by PFI hospitals in the area.

Charles Brooker, Chairman of the group said: "Queen Mary's A&E must stay as it is the only hospital in the Bexley borough and enjoys the affection and warm regard of residents.

"It has effectively been picking up the cost for serious blunders made by other Trusts and policy errors at government level.

"Our greatest concern is that the financial situation of the acute hospitals has not been given sufficient stress. Three of the hospitals, Bromley, Lewisham and Queen Elizabeth, Woolwich which are wholly or partly PFI and have very large deficits, whilst Queen Mary's has a much smaller problem.

"These hospitals cannot be expected to be able to pay these sums. Without these problems having been cleared this will be a burden on the London South East area, and will be bound to be on the detriment of the health care of patients. As a result instead of the changes being solely governed by clinical needs, they will inevitably be financially driven."

A spokesperson for The Department of Health refused to comment on whether the government would bail out the debt-ridden trusts.

He said: "The government gives all the money to the Strategic Health Authority, who then gives it to the Primary Care Trusts."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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