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Help save Teddington Memorial

Help save Teddington Memorial
Teddington Memorial Hospital (photo from Hounslow Chronicle)

FROM THE TEDDINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL LEAGUE OF FRIENDS

Hounslow & Richmond Community Health NHS Trust (HRCHT) are proceeding in their application to obtain Foundation Trust Status which includes the ownership of Teddington Memorial Hospital (TMH) (the building and land).

From previous bulletins you will know that the League of Friends supported fully by the General Practitioners (Doctors) in the area have opposed the handing over of estate title at TMH on the grounds that its financial value, which is shown on the books of HRCHT as £12.4 million, could be used as collateral for borrowing money if Foundation Trust Status is granted, which basically is stripping the asset. TMH is the largest asset that HRCHT hold.

This must not be allowed to happen. The hospital is embedded in the community. In 1928 a generous resident who lived in Teddington gave a property to the community in Elfin Grove, Teddington for the town’s first hospital. This was ultimately sold and the money put towards the building fund for Teddington Memorial Hospital, this fund was further enhanced by a donation of £1,000 from the Anderson family who sold the Nursery that stood on the site of the current hospital. The remainder of the money was raised and given by people in the community. Two members of the Anderson family continue to remain in close contact with the League of Friends.

If it had not been for the enormous efforts provided by the League of friends with the support from the local community we would have lost local control of the hospital facilities some time ago. We have in the past enlisted the backing of previous Health Ministers and local MPs to guarantee that our local hospital remains a focus for the community and provides a range of medical services that meet the needs of the local community.

The real cause for concern is the possibility of the future loss of local control of TMH particularly in this climate of cuts and mergers in the public sector, we could see the ownership of TMH being swallowed up into a larger NHS body. Should in the future HRCHT be forced to merge with another Trust by reasons of viability or size then the merger would further remove the interest and protection of TMH to a larger organisation. The obvious attractiveness of obtaining Teddington Memorial Hospital by a third party would be its financial value and borrowing power. A value that has been built up by your generosity and effort over many years.

The League of Friends along with local Doctors have engaged in numerous discussions with colleagues at HRCHT to identify a workable agreement for the long term protection of the hospital but have sadly to date failed. We are seeking your support to look at alternative models of community ownership of TMH that involve charitable status (such as that of the League of Friends).

The Prime Minister David Cameron made an announcement recently about the Big Society, encouraging communities to take on responsibility for running local services. There is Department of Health legislation that supports alternative models of community ownership which would give us the opportunity to secure change of ownership of TMH thereby enabling us to keep our hospital safe.

We are seeking your support through various local meetings, times and venues to be published on the League of Friends website www.friends-tmh.org.uk.

In the meantime if you would like to be involved or require further information, please contact: via email to info@friends-tmh.org.uk, letters to The League of Friends, FREEPOST, Teddington Memorial Hospital, Hampton Road, Teddington, TW11 8BR or Telephone 020 8943 5430

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