The State of the Queen Elizabeth

Last week the Annual Report and Accounts of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust 2006/07 was received by your Conservative Councillors.  The document contained a huge amount of information, some of which us summarised below. 






The introduction makes clear that, “..the last year has in many ways been one of the toughest we’ve faced, particularly in respect of the financial challenges we’ve had to address” (Chairman of the QEH Trust Colin Campbell)

The facts reflect this comment:

  • 150 posts were cut or frozen;
  • 29 members of staff were made redundant;
  • Savings of more than £10m were planned;
  • There are further cuts amounting to £8.5m planned for the next year (2007/08);
  • The reduction in MRSA cases has slowed, from 41 in 2004/05, to 23 in 2005/06 and 22 in 2006/07;
  • The results of the patient satisfaction survey were poor (although the staff satisfaction survey levels were good);
  • The PFI deal signed by Labour in 2001 is a poor one, which independent sources have suggested costs £8m more than it should.  None of the problems relating to this poor PFI deal have been addressed by the Labour government;
  • The increased population in the area means that demand for services at the QEH has risen e.g. birth rates are up from 14.9 per head (sic) in 2001/02 to 20.1 in 2005/06;
  • Similarly A&E attendances, non-elective admissions, elective admissions and births are up by around a third over the same time period;
  • QEH was rated ‘Fair’ for quality of services and ‘Weak’ for use of resources based on 2005/06 performance;
  • Most targets have been hit e.g. 98.1% of patients were admitted, discharged or transferred  within 4 hours of arriving at A&E;
  • QEH is the main hospital for Belmarsh, which is currently 915 prisoners but will soon expand to 1,315;
  • The PCT is planning to implement ‘demand management plans’ to move work from the hospital to community based settings;
  • Transitional financial support for the PFI scheme and the movement to payment by results is being withdrawn, which will further hit the hospital’s finances;
  • The changes in income and expenditure are expected to produce a £11.8m deficit next year, which the £8.5m programme of savings will offset;
  • Capital expenditure of £2.4m in 2006/07 e.g. on theatre upgrading has been cut to £1.2m as a result of changes in government rules. 

Leader of the Conservative Council Group Spencer Drury commented, “The scale of these cuts will be a real concern to the people who rely on the QEH to keep them healthy.  The huge mistakes made by the Labour government over the PFI are costing the hospital money it cannot afford and will have an effect on Greenwich residents for 30 years to come.  Central government should correct their own errors and not allow local residents to suffer because of their mistakes. 

“The report also made clear that the latest plans are required for 'both for clinical and financial reasons' (Colin Campbell) so any suggestion that the dire financial situation at the QEH and other South East London hospitals have not had an impact on Labour’s plans is ridiculous.”