Letter: Why we still need Bart's Hospital

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Letter: Why we still need Bart's Hospital

Sir: The announcement of a Private Finance Initiative to rebuild the Royal London Hospital ("New hospital dooms Bart's", 17 October) can only be welcomed as long overdue, but should not be seen as either a reason or excuse for closing Bart's.

The loss of 240 acute beds from a deprived area, already underbedded according to Professor Jarman's study, is unacceptable.

Moreover, a hospital of the size proposed cannot sustain the requirements of the highly specialised tertiary referral units at present on five sites.

The "cramming of a quart into a pint pot" has been widely feared by medical staff, and is now threatened, in spite of firm undertakings that Bart's would not close or move unless, and until, facilities equally as good or better were installed.

Before a Final Business Case is accepted, these considerations require careful assessment. Accelerated process to meet a politically driven timetable would be the ultimate in cynicism at a time when the local needs of the Health Service coincide with care for heritage.

C N HUDSON

Immediate Past Chairman

Bart's Medical Staff

Thornwood Common, Essex

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