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End to 'years of uncertainty' as King's joins forces with PRUH

PUBLISHED: 16:06 01 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:07 01 October 2013

Orpington MP Jo Johnson with King's chief executive Tim Smart.

Orpington MP Jo Johnson with King's chief executive Tim Smart.

© Crispin Hughes

An end to "years of uncertainty" arrived today, according to Orpington MP Jo Johnson, as King's College Hospital NHS Foundation joins forces with Princess Royal University Hospital.

The South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) was dissolved yesterday after previously being responsible for running the PRUH - as well as Queen Mary’s, in Sidcup, and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Woolwich.

King’s also today takes responsibility for Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Queen Mary’s and Beckenham Beacon.

To ease the transition, King’s are set to be handed £192million - according to a report from the NHS Trust Development Authority.

The foundation plans to transform Orpington Hospital into a specialist centre for planned orthopaedic surgery, such as hip and knee replacements.

Mr Johnson said: “This is a good day for residents, patients and NHS staff in Orpington. After years of uncertainty and profound concerns, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has officially ‘acquired’ the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) and Orpington Hospital.

“I am delighted that King’s will keep open the hydrotherapy pool at Orpington, which will help in the rehabilitation of patients following surgery. This is of course excellent news for those who have enjoyed the pool’s invaluable services, campaigned for its retention and helped fundraise for it ten years ago.”

Mr Johnson stressed the importance of learning lessons from SLHT, and met with Tim Smart, chief executive of King’s, last week.

Mr Smart added: “Today marks a major change for our organisation, and the populations we serve.

“As a Foundation Trust, we decided that joining forces with the Princess Royal would help us improve services, and enable us to provide better care for patients visiting all of our hospitals.”

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