Health Cash

Letter to the Guardian
By Naomi Pfeffer and Jane Richards

The Guardian, 24 September 1992

What Dr Grant failed to say in his letter (September 23) is that the upgrading at St Bartholomew's Hospital has been undertaken at the expense of other hospitals in the District. Dr Grant asks why close Bart’s down when so much money has been spent on it? Would he then like to explain why he is running down the recently built Homerton Hospital. For example to compare two accident and emergency departments of Bart’s and Homerton is like comparing a luxurious hotel lobby to a prison visiting room. A recent bid to the Bart’s Special Trustees to improve the entrance to the Homerton was rejected. Finally, after years of public pressure some, but by no means sufficient, money has been provided to close the Hackney Hospital, universally-condemned as wholly inadequate to meet the needs of mentally ill people and the elderly who are looked after there. But it will be another two years before people are moved from this ruin of a hospital. If Dr Grant is so concerned about public money would he like to justify spending pounds 75,000 upgrading another ward at Bart’s to relocate an oncology ward from the Homerton. He disregards the attachment local people have to the Homerton. This is illustrated by their raising over pounds 73,000 for improving the comfort of patients being cared for on that ward. This CHC does not wish to see any loss of local services and is troubled by the implications of this attempt to safeguard the future of a hospital with a heritage at the expense of facilities which may have a less glorious past but which Hackney people need.

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