Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital

Campaigning for low tax, first class public services and the highest standards from our elected representatives

Reinstate a 24-hour Accident & Emergency Unit at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup.....

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Welcome to Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital's website. This political party was set up to fight the planned closures at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup as I believe that Bexley Borough needs a fully admitting hospital and no one else is standing up for you and me, the local residents and patients, to ensure that we keep our hospital. This, however, is just the start. I believe that we need a revolution in the House of Commons where we deserve elected representatives that put the voters first and not national self-serving political parties. In the meantime I hope you find this website of interest. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Let's keep fighting to keep a fully admitting hospital in the Bexley Borough. No other candidate or party is seriously fighting (some don't even live in the area!) to keep Queen Mary's Hospital as a fully-admitting hospital and so I will be standing in the General Election in Old Bexley & Sidcup in May 2010. I should be very grateful to receive your support. John Hemming-Clark

REMEMBER: 3 out of 4 Consultants are AGAINST Queen Mary's Hospital's closures. See below.

Tories give up the fight. See below.

Tories may NOT reverse hospital closures. See below.

Queen Mary site sell-off NOT ruled out. See below.

For the latest news please click on Blog. Older news can be found at

3 out of 4 Consultants are AGAINST Queen Mary's Hospital's Closures

A press release from A Picture of Health (APoH) asserted that 100 clinicians were in agreement with the planned closures at Queen Mary's Hospital although this claim could not be substantiated.

Following a challenge in the local media, Roger Smith, Medical Director at Queen Mary's, and clinical lead for APoH, responded saying, "We found a high level of agreement on our central point - that clinical quality would be improved if some services operated from fewer sites, including A&E and maternity."

As a result, Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital wrote to all of the consultants at Queen Mary's Hospital. They were asked whether they were for or against the statement, "Queen Mary's is set to lose its A&E, maternity unit and in-patient paediatrics unit". They were assured that they could respond anonymously.

Of those that responded, 3 out of 4 are against the statement.

This response has completely blown out of the water any claim that Queen Mary's consultants are in any way in favour of the closures.

It illustrates that Queen Mary's Medical Director will be unable to substantiate his claim that there is "a high level of agreement...that clinical quality would be improved."

It confirms that the APoH programme is not being undertaken from a clinical perspective.

It confirms that the APoH is being undertaken from a financial perspective alone.

If the closures go ahead it will be contrary to the wishes of not only those that use the hospital, but the senior clinicians who work in it. As a result:

1. The Medical Director's position is now untenable as he has misled the local population and should resign forthwith.

2. The APoH bureaucrats should apologise for misleading the local population.

3. The consultation should be scrapped in its entirety and the bureaucrats who so wantonly misled the local population should pay the costs involved in this flawed process.

3. If the planned closures go ahead, it will be on the back of a pre-determined consultation where the local population has been cynically misled in order for the bureaucrats to get what they wanted and not what was for the good of the hospital, its staff and patients.


Independents to save Queen Mary's Hospital wrote* (see below) to 66 consultants at Queen Mary's Hospital on 20th April 2009.

By 15th June, 31 (47%) responses had been received. Of these, 7 were for the statement and 24 against the statement.

*The letter written was as follows:

Dear Dr ............

You will be aware that A Picture of Health has been unable to prove its claim that 100 clinicians agreed, at a workshop held on 25th September 2007, to the proposals that are now part of Option 2 that the JCPCT agreed to in July 2008. These include the closure of Queen Mary's A&E with medical, surgical and paediatric emergencies diverted elsewhere. There will be no obstetric inpatients or children's inpatients service.

It was further asserted [by the Medical Director] in Bexley / Bromley Times for 8th April 2009 that "We found a high level of agreement on our central point - that clinical quality would be improved if some services were operated from fewer sites, including A&E and maternity."

In order for us to ascertain the strength of the APoH claim I should be very grateful if you would [indicate below whether you are for or against the statement that "Queen Mary's is set to lose its A&E, maternity unit and in-patient paediatrics unit".]

Your response will be completely anonymous.

Tories give up the fight

In an email to a local resident, Bexley (Conservative) Councillor, Pat Cammish, wrote, "I met with the Shadow Health Minister a couple of years ago and after being questioned about what his position would be regarding the Hospital if we win the next General Electon [sic] (May 2010), he could give no assurance that he would be able to do anything about it - too much damage has already been done.

I have read the 'writing on the wall' and feel that, after so much fighting and campaigning, it is now time to all pull together to ensure that remaining services are excellent."
Well, Ms Cammish, don't worry...Independents to save Queen Mary's Hospital is not giving up so easily. If we don't keep fighting then the "remaining services" will continue to diminish, one by one.

Tories may NOT reverse hospital closures if elected

CONSERVATIVES have been accused of milking a hospital campaign for votes after a shadow health minister has admitted that a Tory government may not halt health service closures.

Shadow health minister Mike Penning has warned that health cuts in the area - including the closure of Queen Mary's Hospital A&E in Sidcup (QMS) - may have progressed "too far" to reverse them even if they win the next general election.

But campaigners accused the Conservatives, who came out in support of the Times campaign to save services, of "false pretence".

Mr Penning told the Times: "These changes are taking place very quickly and I am concerned they will have progressed too far for a new government to stop them which is one reason we need a general election as soon as possible.

"Any closures that do take place must be clinically driven and therefore the Conservative Party would impose a moratorium in these cases."

Many Tories, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, Assembly member James Cleverly and Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett, pledged their support for the Times campaign against the plans.

Tory-led Bexley council referred the decision by Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and former Tory MP Derek Conway presented our petition, with thousands of residents' signatures calling for a stop to the plans, to 10 Downing Street.

Policy expert Dr John Lister from campaign group London Health Emergency said: "It is just false pretence. It appears they were just happy to milk it for a few votes. It is not promising for the residents of Bexley. The Tories have said they are going to exempt health cuts if they get into power, so one would think they would stop those which are the most irrational, like those in Bexley."

Under plans by A Picture of Health (APOH), A&E and inpatient paediatric cases will no longer take place at QMS and instead dealt with by Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, or Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

Bexley Conservative councillor Sharon Massey said: "The moratorium policy is one the Tories have had for years, even before A Picture of Health. It is not until we are in power that we can have a look at the books. We can't make empty promises - promising one thing and then not being able to provide."

Labour party member and former chairman of the Patients Forum at QMS Charles Brooker, 78, said: "I don't think the Tories should reverse the changes. One of the things we have suffered from is one party getting into power and undoing what the other one has done, which is harmful.

"The NHS has had a problem when politicians start getting involved in running services and that has been the fault of both main parties.

"The problem with QMS is that it was too small. I know the changes aren't popular, but the great thing is that we are keeping QMS open and it is now part of a big health organisation."

Bexley Times 18th June 2009

Queen Mary site sell-off NOT ruled out

Chief executive Chris Streather of South London Healthcare NHS Trust said on 1st September 2009 at Bexley council chamber: "We would not rule out selling off parts of the estate," when he responded to a question put by the council on behalf of the public over the long-term viability of Queen Mary's.

copyright Private Eye

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