The Department of Health and NHS England have agreed to nearly double the amount paid to trusts taking on parts of the soon-to-be-dissolved South London Healthcare Trust.
A document released by the NHS Trust Development Authority shows the government has agreed to increase the “transitional support” set out in the trust special administrator’s plan from £266m to £466m.
When it is formally dissolved, to take place next month, South London Healthcare Trust’s different services are being divided between Lewisham Healthcare Trust, King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust, Oxleas Foundation Trust and Dartford and Gravesham Hospital Trust.
The government has also agreed to extend the time over which the service transition can be safely carried out is five years rather than three years.
The TDA report says that the £200m increase in support was due to: “Due diligence highlighting risks relating to the assumptions underpinning SLHT’s deficit, increases in the annual investment at each hospital site to support the improvement in quality, and a judgement from King’s College Hospital and Lewisham Hospital that it will take five years, rather than the years outlined in the TSA report, to complete a safe integration of service.”
King’s College will receive £90m on top of the “transitional support” already agreed in the trust special administrator’s plan, Dartford and Gravesham an extra £5m and Lewisham an extra £69m.
Meanwhile, health secretary Jeremy Hunt is appealing the decision of a judicial review which overturned one of the trust special administrator’s recommendations – for downgrading Lewisham Hospital’s accident and emergency unit.
The NHS TDA’s document said the uncertainty over the A&E unit meant there could be up to an additional £10m of costs, and that if the government was to lose its appeal, commissioners would be expected to cover this.
Former health secretary Andrew Lansley used legislation passed by the previous government to put South London into the failure regime for trusts, the first organisation to be subject to it.