Letter: Wasteful scheme to save hospital funds

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The Independent Online
Sir: In your report ('Jobs cut to help fund hospital', 26 January) it is stated that savings of pounds 16m are still required by Riverside Health Authority despite the opening of the new Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, and that to achieve such savings 20 consultants' posts must be cut with other consequential job losses.

During Riverside's 1988 consultation it was clearly stated that the main purpose of the Riverside scheme for closing Westminster Hospital, Westminster Children's Hospital, and the West London, and to concentrate all services on the sites of Charing Cross and St Stephen's hospitals was to achieve the essential annual revenue saving of pounds 15m.

After spending pounds 226m or more on the new hospital scheme - and in addition demolishing the eastern portion of St Stephen's, built in 1973 and in 1988 worth approximately pounds 60m - it now appears that no such saving has been achieved as a result of this expensive and ill-conceived scheme. This was feared by this fund and its advisers from the outset.

Yours faithfully,

ALAN MEYER

Chairman

The Westminster Hospitals

Development Fund

London, SW1

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