I object to the description of Queen Mary's Sidcup trust as a 'struggling' organisation. In fact, we are an example of a hugely successful turnaround
I object to the description of Queen Mary's Sidcup trust as a 'struggling' organisation (news, page 5, 19 April; Click here for HSJ's correction to this story).
In fact, we are an example of a hugely successful turnaround: from a year-end deficit of nearly£20m in 2005-06, where we were losing over£1m a month, we are now breaking even. For the last three months we have produced a small surplus, and we are likely to end the financial year 2006-07 with a deficit of close to£1m, against a planned deficit of£5.4m.
If we were paid at the national average, we would have made a surplus. We've done all of this without cutting any patient services. In fact, activity has increased significantly, suggesting a growing local confidence in the quality of our care.
I can see why this would put us in a position where we would be attractive to a 'takeover' by a local foundation trust. But contrary to your report, this seems unlikely given that we have not been approached or had any such discussions with them.
We acknowledge that we will struggle to pay back our debts in a reasonable timescale, and are working with our three neighbouring trusts to look at how closer collaboration might lead to improvements in service quality and cost reductions. We would be happy to explore other options should they present themselves, but the work we are currently undertaking is the best solution to local financial difficulties and the changing healthcare environment.
Kate Grimes, chief executive, Queen Mary's Sidcup trust.