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[Dr William McCrea in the Chair] — Hospital Services (South London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:49 am on 22nd January 2013.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 10:49 am, 22nd January 2013

That is a good point well made. I will ensure that the Secretary of State is fully aware of the hon. Gentleman’s views.

Why are we in this position? That was a question posed by the hon. Member for Lewisham East. Let us be absolutely clear about it. South London Healthcare NHS Trust has six PFI schemes. It is not as simple as putting all the blame on the PFI schemes, as some Members have suggested. The two largest schemes are at the Princess Royal university hospital in Bromley with a £30 million PFI scheme, and at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich with a PFI scheme of £29.1 million. The PFIs were signed off in 1998, but they certainly do not help the situation.

The trust is losing £1 million of public money a week. That £1 million could be better spent on improving and providing services to all whom these trusts seek to serve. This is a trust that has a £65 million deficit, the largest in the country, so doing nothing is not an option. No Government of whatever political colour would stand by and see the haemorrhaging of £1 million a week. When hon. Members gather again on Saturday for their protest, I hope that they make it absolutely clear to all the good people who attend to support their local hospital that that is the real financial situation. Often, when faced with such realities, difficult and tough decisions have to be made. The simple truth is—and I am sure that the hon. Member for Lewisham East will agree with me—that we cannot continue to have that haemorrhaging and a deficit of £65 million.