Letter:Who owns Bart's?

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Sir: Further to Andreas Whittam Smith's article ("Is Bart's saved?", 27 May), I would like to pose another question: "Who owns Bart's?"

In 1948 the National Health Service acquired the deeds of the hospital without money changing hands, in return for continuing to provide a health service on the site, as had previously been provided by Bart's Trustees and Governors.

Why cannot the deeds now be handed to the Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew Charitable Foundation? They are prepared to offer a health service on the site in line with the wishes of the original founding Charter which donated the site and the means to maintain the hospital.

Surely, since the Department of Health are to withdraw from supplying hospital treatment at St Bartholomew's Hospital, they do not have a right to the site.

SHEILA JONES

London EC2

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