Letter: Battle for Bart's

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The Independent Online
Sir: The recent vote of the consultant staff at the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust's five sites (Bart's, Royal London, Mile End, London Chest and Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospitals), supported a single-site option only if clinical facilities and bed numbers were sufficient to support current and expected future levels of clinical activity.

This activity is understood by many of us to be far greater than that which can be achieved in a hospital of the proposed size incorporating 1200-1300 beds at Whitechapel. Not only is London now no longer over-bedded, but indeed may be subject to severe bed shortages, particularly in areas of very heavy demand such as the East End.

The Trust's consultants further voted that were adequate facilities not available in the planned rebuild, then consideration should be given to the original two-site option, maintaining St Bartholomew's Hospital.

Only with the continuation of clinical activity at this hospital, which is currently thriving, will we have the resources and flexibility to provide first-rate health care to our local population. This will also allow us to maintain our excellence as a national and international centre.

Professor ASHLEY





Deputy Chairmen

Medical Council of St Bartholomew's Hospital