I’d support any campaign in defence of hospitals and other health provision, but you’ll forgive me if I have a little extra drive to help save the two hospitals that saved my life.
Bart’s and the Royal London hospitals here in east London are under threat of bankruptcy and even closure because of problems with a PFI scheme to upgrade them. While the mess trundles on, the private sector ‘partner’ (oh, woeful term) is bleeding the Trust dry to the tune of £½m per month. Click here for the BBC website’s report on the crisis.
I went to a public meeting in Hackney last week, the main subject of which was the government’s appalling proposals to further marketise primary care and GP services. Naturally, though, it also touched on the threat to Bart’s and the Royal London. Read my report here.
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The Trust states that: Bart's has built an international reputation for clinical excellence over ten centuries. Without its leading-edge cancer and cardiac services, the hospital would effectively cease to exist, our clinical teams would be disbanded, and the vulnerable population we serve, with some of the highest rates of cancer and heart disease in Britain, would be deprived of the integrated world class cancer and cardiac care for which Bart's is renowned. The loss would be a body blow to healthcare in east London. Bart's and the London are the only major teaching hospitals in the area, they produce some of the best clinical outcomes in the country, and some of the best mortality rates for cardiac surgery.