Bart's faces slow death in hospital reforms: Bottomley announces reprieve for University College sites in London shake-up, but 800-year-old institution to be run down

ST BARTHOLOMEW'S hospital was yesterday effectively condemned to a slow death on its 800-year-old Smithfield site in central London, but the capital's University College hospitals were reprieved, as Virginia Bottomley, Secretary of State for Health, intervened in the NHS market to secure their future.

In the first of a package of announcements aimed at sorting out central London hospitals, Mrs Bottomley's bitter Christmas present to Bart's was that its accident and emergency department is to close as expected, probably by next October. The hospital said it was too soon to spell out job implications.

Specialised services including cancer, day surgery and Aids treatment will continue there 'for some years to come', Mrs Bottomley said, along with a minor injuries unit. But the 'phased concentration' of services from Bart's and the London Chest Hospital on to the Royal London hospital site in Whitechapel effectively means St Bartholomew's is being run down to merge with the Royal London, a process that may take until the next century.

The University College London hospitals were promised 'a secure future'. Mrs Bottomley has in effect told Camden and Islington Health Authority that it cannot carry out the full extent of its threat to switch contracts away from the UCLH to the cheaper Royal Free and Whittington hospitals.

UCL hospitals are to be given 'transitional funding' to enable them to provide prices its purchasing authorities can afford while they cut costs further through concentrating services at either site - University College or the Middlesex. They are to be the key cardiac and cancer centre for central north London at the expense of the Royal Free, which has won its fight to keep its kidney transplant programme.

Challenged that she was bucking the market by protecting UCLH and stopping purchasers hunting out the cheapest buy, Mrs Bottomley said: 'A managed market has always been the intention of the NHS changes.' While purchasers had priority, she said there would be occasions where 'it is necessary to intervene for particular reasons'. In the case of UCLH, there had been a clear need to do so to safeguard its world-class teaching and research base. The purchasing authorities are thus being told they must maintain the 'necessary core' of local services to protect UCLH's accident and emergency service.

Yesterday's announcements leave a string of crucial decisons still to come, including the likely transfer of the Hammersmith to Charing Cross, a clear possibility that plans by Guy's and St Thomas's to keep both sites open will be overturned, and a difficult decison on the Royal Marsden hospital's home. David Blunkett, Labour's health spokesman, said Mrs Bottomley's decision on UCLH 'is an admission that her structural changes to the NHS have failed', while the continued lack of other key decisions a year on from the Tomlinson report will 'perpetuate the shambolic and piecemeal approach to London,' with great teaching hospitals 'withering on the vine'.

The A & E closure at Bart's is accompanied by a pounds 25m redevelopment at the Homerton Hospital, a new 28-bed ward at the Royal London A & E department and 120 new ambulances for the capital.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - An outstanding high level opportunity...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NICHE CITY FIRM - We are making a disc...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NICHE CITY FIRM - We are making a disc...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick