STRUCTURE: North East London foundation trust listed “potential management of King George Hospital” in its three-year strategy plan, submitted to Monitor - which would represent the first time a mental health provider has taken over an acute sector hospital.

The mental health trust, which is due to grow by roughly a third after acquiring the community services of five separate PCTs, said it was considering: “further expansion into [the] acute/primary care arena through management of whole pathways for long term conditions, bidding for urgent care centres, potential management of King George Hospital”.

King George Hospital is currently managed by Barking, Havering, Redbridge University Hospitals Trust and a report on its future and the sevices provided there is being considered by health secretary Andrew Lansley, after the Independent Reconfiguration Panel submitted its finding on acute care in the region.

The report also said the trust had the “potential to bid for Queen’s Hosital urgent care centre during 2011-13 when the service model is resolved between PCT and GPs”.

NELFT chief executive John Brouder said: “As part of a much wider strategy about where health services are provided across our local area, together with our local health partners we have looked at the possibility of managing or utilising other buildings on the site that we currently share with King George Hospital. “The NHS has a shared responsibility to ensure the best use of public resources and, while this is only a possibility, it would be remiss of us not to mention it in a three year plan for the future.

“As a provider of community health services and mental health services we are interested in developing whole care-pathways, particularly the transformation of care-pathways for people with long term conditions. This would necessarily include giving consideration to some elements of care that have traditionally been provided in the acute setting.

“We have no plans to ‘takeover’ the whole of the King George Hospital estate, or services.”