Hospital trust chief exec visits Bexley
THE chief executive of South London Healthcare NHS Trust visited Bexley last night (June 26).
Dr Chris Streather attended Bexley Council's Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to speak to councillors about the trust being faced with administration.
The trust, which runs Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, has been suffering losses of £1m a week.
The hospital boss, who took up his post in 2009 when the trust was formed, announced on June 14 that he would be leaving his job to take up a new post with the national Academic Health Science Network.
He told councillors the Secretary of State was likely to announce on July 12 that the trust had been put into the "unsustainable providers regime".
This means a special administrator would take over all the powers of the board and recommend measures to the health secretary to put the trust's finances on a sustainable basis.
The administrator would have 120 days to develop a plan, which was likely to be extended to 160 days.
During the council meeting, Councillor James Hunt said: "You're off, you're done, you're in your notice period.
"We talk about the next 160 days. What actually is your involvement? I think mid July you're going."
Dr Streather replied: "I think my personal future is incredibly irrelevant.
"I'm very excited about what I am going on to do.
"I'm very sad to be leaving a job that I enjoy very much. Out of 1,200 days, 1,199 I have enjoyed very much."
Chairman of the committee, Councillor Ross Downing, told him: "The person coming in will want to speak to key members of staff but you wont be there."
Dr Streather said: "I hope anyone who knows me at all will know I care very deeply.
"They (administrator) will have as much of my time as they need, to make sure the continuity of services is maintained.
"It would be unthinkable for me to hand over in an unprofessional way."
He said he believed three areas were equally responsible for the financial problem, which included inefficiency within the organisation, PFI schemes and the health economy.
Dr Streather said there is "an enormous amount of estate" across the three boroughs not being used to see patients in, which is "a drain on the public purse."
He also insisted there was a need for greater sharing of services.