Plans to solve the financial problems at an NHS trust which was taken over by an administrator for being on the brink of bankruptcy are to be outlined today.
South London Healthcare Trust, which runs three hospitals in the capital, was the first ever trust to be put on an “unsustainable providers regime” because it was losing £1m a week.
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Special administrator Matthew Kershaw was tasked with putting the trust on a viable footing.
Today, Mr Kershaw, who took charge of the trust in July, will announce his draft recommendations for hospital services in south east London.
He could suggest that the trust should continue in its current form with better financial management or that there should be partnerships with other NHS organisations.
He may even recommend franchise management of some aspect or the whole of the trust, like that at Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust in Cambridgeshire.
Hinchingbrooke became the UK’s first privately-run NHS general hospital in February this year.
In August, Mr Kershaw invited providers of NHS care, including private companies and NHS organisations, to express whether they would be interested in running services at the trust.
After his plans are announced, he will launch a 30-day consultation with staff, patients and the public on the draft report. A final report will be submitted to health secretary Jeremy Hunt on 8 January.
Former health secretary Andrew Lansley put the trust in the unsustainable providers regime after it emerged that it ran up deficits of more than £150m over the past three years.
Sources close to Mr Lansley said long-standing difficulties had been made worse by Labour’s merger of the three hospitals’ smaller trusts in April 2009 and by two private finance initiative deals that are now costing £61m a year in interest.
South London Healthcare Trust runs Queen Mary’s in Sidcup, the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley.