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New Clause 6 — Secretary of State’s response to a section 65 regulator’s report on an NHS foundation trust

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 11th March 2014.

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Photo of Jim Dowd Jim Dowd Labour, Lewisham West and Penge 3:45 pm, 11th March 2014

My right hon. Friend is right; that is precisely the point and that is precisely what this Government intend. I have absolutely no doubt about that; their writ will run whether people want it or not.

After all that, what is the current position of South London Healthcare NHS Trust—after that £5 million? Princess Royal in Orpington is now an adjunct of King’s College hospital. The TSA was quite happy to say the whole thing should be passed lock, stock and barrel to King’s. There was a rather unseemly squabble about the size of the bung King’s should get for taking on Princess Royal, but there was no specification about the services that should be provided there or anywhere else; that was entirely up to King’s. Queen Mary’s, which of course is not a fully functioning district general hospital, is now being managed by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, the primary care trust in that part of the world. Again, the TSA made no recommendations about what services, or what range of services, should be provided there.

Queen Elizabeth, which, of course, is the biggest problem in what was South London Healthcare NHS Trust, has now merged with Lewisham university hospital in the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. It is now managing a very difficult proposition; I do not dispute that for a moment. I have my doubts about whether that is the best move for the people of Lewisham, but I understand why it has been done. Yet, the board at university hospital Lewisham was prepared to enter into that agreement before the TSA even set foot in the area. So what we have now in south-east London was entirely possible by rational argument and reasoned consent without the need for the TSA and all the disruption, anguish and distress he and his acolytes have caused. I say to Members voting on this tonight, “Remember; you may not want to visit a TSA and I don’t blame you, but that won’t prevent them from visiting you if this clause goes through.”