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Health Service Purchase of Private Wing



April 7th 2008

North Thanet’s MP, Roger Gale, has today (Monday) welcomed the purchase, by the East Kent Hospitals Trust, of the Spencer Wing of the QEQM hospital, Margate.

Speaking in Margate following the announcement the MP said:

"There will inevitably be both those who say that this is the beginning of the privatisation of the Health Service and those that will say to the contrary that this is the first step towards the nationalisation of private health facilities! I see it as neither.

In a compellingly innovative move the management of the Hospitals Trust have boldly sought to secure the future of orthopaedic and endoscopy capacity on the Margate site and to preserve, prior to re-location, the post-graduate medical training facilities that are essential to the continuing development of medical practitioners.

We need to remember that the buildings and the site are already owned by the Trust and were leased to the Spencer Unit.  What has been purchased, therefore, for what I understand to be a fair price, is the business itself.

During the past year some 50% of the business of the Spencer Wing was generated as a result of NHS patients using the facilities and the Wing itself has always bought NHS x-ray, theatre and other facilities from the NHS.

This deal means that NHS money will be re-cycled back into the NHS while business profits will also be ploughed into additional NHS treatment.

The Department of Health may have been taken aback by the audacity of the move but it has been subjected to due diligence and legal advice and found to be sound.

I would like to think that this purchase will see still better end of year financial and patient treatment results for 2008/2009."

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