Guy's Hospital sees hope of a reprieve

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GUY'S HOSPITAL, which is threatened with closure as an acute unit under government plans to reorganise London's health care, appeared last night to have won a partial reprieve in a move designed to appease doctors and charitable donors.

The board of the Guy and St Thomas' NHS Trust has dropped plans to move all in- patient services to the St Thomas' site, and will now retain some routine surgery at Guy's. As a small specialist hospital, Guy's would provide orthopaedic surgery and a head and neck unit. It would also treat some cancer and kidney in-patients for at least three years.

The revised plans, which have to be approved by Virginia Bottomley, Secretary of State for Health, include use of Philip Harris House, a pounds 140m building due to open in January 1995. This has been at the centre of the bitter political row over Guy's after it became known the building's state-of-the-art clinical facilities may never be used for NHS patients. It was funded by pounds 30m in donations.

Dr Bob Knight, a consultant physician at Guy's who is co-ordinating the Save Guy's Campaign, welcomed the board's move as a 'very considerable step foward'.

A spokeswoman for the trust said last night that the plans, which have yet to be approved by the full board, were a 'modification' of Mrs Bottomley's.

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