South London Healthcare Trust managers went on £6,000 US 'jolly'

This Is Local London: Kansas City's "power and light district", visited by SLHT managers during the Cerner conference. Kansas City's "power and light district", visited by SLHT managers during the Cerner conference.

FIVE MANAGERS of troubled South London Healthcare Trust went on a £6,000 trip to a conference in America, it has emerged.

The trust, which runs Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, Orpington Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough and Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, was plunged into administration in July having ended 2011 with a deficit of £69m.

The event in Kansas City, Missouri, was hosted by information technology contractors Cerner which has a £250m to £400m contract providing an IT system for seven London trusts including SLHT.

The conference from October 7-10, included a 1980s-themed street party called "The Bash" featuring free food and drinks at bars and restuarants in Kansas City's "power and light district".

SLHT special administrator Matthew Kershaw is thought likely to recommend the trust be broken-up in an interim report on its future to be presented to the health secretary on October 29.

Tom Smith, of Palace Estate, Bromley, expressed concern about the trip.

He has a partner who does not wish to be named who worked as a nurse at Princess Royal Hospital.

The 66-year-old said: "I am sure it has proved educational but they will be expecting to get bailed out by the government and spending all that money on a little jolly; I think it's disgusting.

"Somebody should be held responsible for all this.

"£6,000 might not be a lot to them because they owe many, many thousands of pounds but it sets a bad example."

Keep Our NHS Public campaign member Frances Hook voiced her worries to News Shopper.

She said: "The question is why have they got to do it now when nobody is supposed to know what's happening to the trust?

"The report is not out yet so why are they going there?

"We need to be told why and what the benefits are."

A spokeswoman defended SLHT's decision to send five operational and clinical managers to the event.

A statement said: "The conference was an opportunity to learn more about the Cerner IT system and how it is being used in other complex, multi-site organisations.

"The visit included visits to sites where the system has been implemented and focus on developing more detailed knowledge about the system benefits.

"This offers good value for money in terms of training, experience, and information available to our staff at the conference.

"This learning will help the trust work towards successful implementation with minimal disruption to services.

"The trip was paid for by the trust, at a cost of approximately £6,000."

Comments (4)

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7:58pm Wed 17 Oct 12

billybones says...

If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny. I work for an IT company and this is not the norm. Yes, they may take you to a reference site to obtain real feedback on their solutions, but not the other side of the world – and make YOU pay!!! Any decent IT company supports the implementation of a solution and usually project manages the whole affair based on the knowledge they have acquired historically. So this SLHT spokeswoman is talking complete hog wash, and it was purely a jolly at a time when the Trust is in real trouble. It isn’t just the cost of it, it is the message it send to the Tax Payer; so I guess there is no wonder they are in trouble when you look at the attitude and the decisions they have taken.

I have assumed that this in not part of a competitive tender exercise, because if it is, then this is a very serious event which would require disciplinary actions to be taken against those involved in the authorisation.

Let’s hope that they all include this decision somewhere in their CVs, in case their careers are now limited. Wouldn’t you just love to be a fly on the wall at the interview for a new job when they are asked to explain their reasoning given the current climate within the Trust :-)
If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny. I work for an IT company and this is not the norm. Yes, they may take you to a reference site to obtain real feedback on their solutions, but not the other side of the world – and make YOU pay!!! Any decent IT company supports the implementation of a solution and usually project manages the whole affair based on the knowledge they have acquired historically. So this SLHT spokeswoman is talking complete hog wash, and it was purely a jolly at a time when the Trust is in real trouble. It isn’t just the cost of it, it is the message it send to the Tax Payer; so I guess there is no wonder they are in trouble when you look at the attitude and the decisions they have taken. I have assumed that this in not part of a competitive tender exercise, because if it is, then this is a very serious event which would require disciplinary actions to be taken against those involved in the authorisation. Let’s hope that they all include this decision somewhere in their CVs, in case their careers are now limited. Wouldn’t you just love to be a fly on the wall at the interview for a new job when they are asked to explain their reasoning given the current climate within the Trust :-) billybones
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Rosiestar says...

Have they not heard of best practice and professional internet communities that share their models and knowledge with others?
Have they not heard of best practice and professional internet communities that share their models and knowledge with others? Rosiestar
  • Score: 0

10:46am Thu 18 Oct 12

goldenbroomboy says...

Usually jollies are excused as "Team Building" exercises, so this is perhaps a bit more original.
Usually jollies are excused as "Team Building" exercises, so this is perhaps a bit more original. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Threadworm says...

I bet they were all really scared when they read the comments from Francis Hook LOL KONP is a laughable joke if they think the trust are influenced by them.... considering they are losing in excess of a million a week ,£6000
I bet they were all really scared when they read the comments from Francis Hook LOL KONP is a laughable joke if they think the trust are influenced by them.... considering they are losing in excess of a million a week ,£6000 Threadworm
  • Score: 0

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