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Patients Association responds to financial crisis in South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Author:The Patients Association
Date Added:26 June 2012

Katherine Murphy, Patients Association Chief Executive, said: “This warning needs to act as a wake-up call to all other Trusts that they will be held to account over their financial management of vital NHS resources. The NHS needs to be handed back to the public and not controlled by private interests seeking to make financial gain.


“The Secretary of State told us in his first address after taking office that patients would lead the way in making decisions about health services, his mantra was ‘no decision about me, without me’. This has not been patients experience so far, and they need to be involved in all fundamental changes to NHS and Social Care as a priority.


The Patients Association is already working with trusts in the Midlands and the East of England to create a ‘patient revolution’. We want to know what patients think of the services being offered and delivered so that we can ensure that the NHS is providing world class care across the board. The NHS is paid for by the taxpayers and belongs to the public, we need a social movement to ensure that they are actively involved in its running.


In regards to the South London area the most important thing, in this time of crisis, is that services are not affected, and that patients are still able to access the care they require as quickly as possible. It should be guaranteed by the Department of Health that this financial mismanagement will have no impact on services and patients will continue to be treated whilst this bureaucratic mess is cleaned up.”




  1. The Patients Association is a campaigning charity, listening to patients and speaking up for change. It has been working for nearly 50 years to make sure that the patient voice is heard and listened to by policy makers.
  2. For further information please contact the Patients Association on 02084239111 or on 07779004898 if outside of the hours 9-5.30pm.



Further information


South London Healthcare NHS Trust, a merger of three hospital trusts, Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich could be declared bust it has been told.


The trust could be dissolved and administrators brought in within weeks, according to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley. There is the potential that this could lead to the closure of some services.


The financial problems have stemmed from the merger of the trusts, two of which had large debt from private finance initiatives (PFIs) to incorporate new buildings at Orpington and Woolwich. In 2012 the debt reached £69 million.

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