this week

Managers at Barts and the London trust have welcomed a£150m package of support for patient services.

Health secretary Frank Dobson announced the cash last week during a visit to Newham General Hospital.

He said the money, to be spread over 10 years, would help to develop services at Bart's and the Royal London Hospital while buildings are being refurbished.

Mr Dobson 'saved' Bart's as a cardiac and cancer centre last year, ending the high-profile 'Save Bart's Campaign'.

Trust finance director Barry Elliott said the money 'basically secures the level of transitional funding that we have as a trust' but welcomed the announcement for ending the 'uncertainty' about how long the funding would continue.

The trust will gain£12.4m in transitional funding this year, although it is still waiting for formal approval from London regional office.

The business case for a multi-million-pound redevelopment of both hospitals is being completed and is due to be submitted later this year.

Mr Dobson also gave the go-ahead for public consultation on proposals for a single mental health trust for east London. Campaigners had attacked repeated delays in launching the consultation.