Teddington Memorial Hospital (the building itself) is currently owned by NHS Richmond (formerly Richmond & Twickenham Primary Care Trust). Under new NHS legislation all Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are in the process of closing down. The Department of Health has recently issued a publication in respect of the acquisition of NHS Estate (property)from the PCTs by aspirant Community Foundation Trusts and has invited aspirant trusts to identify PCT owned assets (which includes Teddington Memorial Hospital) that they wish to acquire.
On 1st April 2011 the current Hounslow & Richmond Community Healthcare is expected to be established as Hounslow & Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust. It will then become an aspirant Community Foundation Trust and proceed with the process of achieving Community Foundation Trust status and ownership of Teddington Memorial Hospital.
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The current situation facing Teddington Memorial hospital is:
1. It is likely that the ownership of Teddington Memorial Hospital will pass to Hounslow & Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust when it becomes a Community Foundation Trust.
2. Alternatively the hospital would be passed to a London wide property pool to be disposed of as NHS London sees fit.
The League of Friends together with General Practitioners in the Teddington Twickenham and Hamptons locality strongly opposes both of the above two stated options for the following reasons: either of them would put the hospital in a risk situation for the future as outlined below:
We have no doubt that initially services provided by Hounslow & Richmond Community Healthcare Trust or its successor Foundation Trust would be excellent but they too will experience future changes in the health service which will be beyond their control. For example they may merge with another Trust or Organisation for reasons of size or viability and should this happen the management would be further removed from the locality and Teddington Memorial Hospital would cease to become the local War Memorial Hospital for which it is renowned.
The other option of Teddington Memorial Hospital being placed in a London wide property pool and acquired by any aspiring body that have no local knowledge of its origins, or particular interest in the community’s involvement, is totally unacceptable.
The League of Friends have written to The Secretary of State for Heath, The RT Hon. Andrew Lansley CBE requesting that he, with his advisors, agree a model of ownership for Teddington Memorial Hospital that will embed its future safely in the community. We have also consulted with Vincent Cable MP.
In this respect the League of Friends have quoted a government paper “Statutory Framework for Change of Ownership” and have also sought expert advice. This hospital is unique, it does not fit the general mould: there are few, if any, like it in the country now. We have fought a number of battles to keep it including obtaining independent Trust Status in 1995.
For the sake of the future security of the hospital and to prevent it being joined by ownership to an organisation that has already been formed by a merger (Hounslow & Richmond) or being placed in a London wide property pool, we appeal for your support by signing this letter and encourage other members of your household to sign as well as we need to demonstrate the number of people who support the League in this way. There is also a petition sheet for use if you wish to gain additional signatures.