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Hospitals' performance branded inadequate' after financial failings

PUBLISHED: 16:49 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 12 August 2010

A HOSPITAL Trust has failed to meet minimum standards for the fourth year in a row Bromley Hospitals Trust (BHT) which merged with Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, and Queen Mary s Hospital, Sidcup in April this year to form South London Healthcare T

A HOSPITAL Trust has failed to meet minimum standards for the fourth year in a row

Bromley Hospitals Trust (BHT) which merged with Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, and Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup in April this year to form South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) achieved a rating of just one in the Audit Commission's investigation in to how it uses its resources.

The Auditor's Local Evaluation (ALE), which happens annually, awarded BHT a rating of 'one' for its financial standing which, by the rules, means it can only achieve an overall rating of one. That defines the Trust as "below minimum requirements - inadequate performance."

The ALE tests the overall financial performance of all NHS trusts in five areas- financial reporting, financial management, financial standing, internal control and value for money.

A spokesperson for BHT said: "Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospitals NHS Trust and Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trust have all had historic financial problems which were ongoing for several years. These financial challenges were one of the reasons for the merger of the three Trusts to form South London Healthcare NHS Trust in April this year.

"South London Healthcare is committed to achieving financial balance and is working hard to make its organisation more efficient by taking measures which maximise productivity. Patient safety remains our absolute priority and any actions that we take to reduce our spending will need to be consistent with this principle."

Meanwhile Bromley Primary Care Trust (PCT) shamed the borough's hospitals by performing well across the board.

The majority of PCTs in England only met the minimum requirements in the three areas of how they use their resources. But Bromley PCT scored well in each area of financial management, how it governs its business and how it manages its resources, assets and people.

More than 70 per cent only met the minimum requirements in the governance and resources management parts and no PCT scored an "excellent" in any of the three main areas.

A spokesperson for Bromley PCT said was unavailable for comment as the Times went to press.

Kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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