Private firms may bid for South London Healthcare Trust

Queen Elizabeth Hospital sign The trust was created by merging three hospitals and serves more than one million people

Related Stories

Private healthcare providers have been asked if they want to run South London Healthcare NHS Trust.

In July the government announced the trust, which had run up debts of more than £150m since being created in 2009, would be put into administration.

Administrator Matthew Kershaw wants to be "aware of potential interest" from both private healthcare trusts and NHS organisations, his office has said.

The trust serves one million people in Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich.

The trust was created by merging three hospitals - the Princess Royal in Orpington, Queen Mary's in Sidcup and the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich - and is the first NHS trust to be put into administration.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the decision was taken because past efforts to put it on a "sustainable path" had not succeeded.

'Organisational change'

Chris Remington, the Unison union's head of health for the London region, said it would be a "sad day for patients and staff" if South London Healthcare Trust fell into private hands.

The trust has some of the longest waiting times for operations and longer-than-average waits in accident and emergency. However, it has low infection and death rates.

The administrator has to publish a draft report on the problems faced by the trust and possible solutions by October.

A spokesman from Mr Kershaw's office said: "It is possible that there will be recommendations for organisational change as part of this.

"Whilst one solution will be to re-establish the South London Healthcare NHS Trust board, other organisational options must be considered.

'Drowning in PFI debt'

"To support this, it is essential that the trust special administrator is aware of potential interest from NHS, independent and third sector parties in providing or managing NHS services in south east London to help develop and deliver a sustainable solution for the people of south east London.

"This is not a signal that decisions have been taken about the future of services or organisational solutions, rather it is an exercise to assess what interest there may be if new organisational forms are required."

Mr Remington said the trust was in administration because it was "drowning in a sea of Private Finance Initiative debt fuelled by the high cost of servicing repayments to private companies".

He said the best option for local people was for the trust to stay together and be run by the NHS.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



12 °C 6 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.