Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust takeover to be confirmed at meeting this week

Enfield Independent: Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital Trust set to be taken over Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital Trust set to be taken over

The takeover of the hospital trust for Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals is expected to be approved at a meeting this week.

The public meeting on Wednesday, April 30 will expect to see GPs in the Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to approve the deal which will the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust acquire the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital Trust by July.

The acquisition comes after it was announced by the government that hospitals must become foundations trusts this year and trusts must also be financially stable. 

However, Barnet and Chase Farm trust current has a deficit of £32.5million and faced an almost impossible chance of becoming financially stable alone.

Royal Free in Hampstead tabled a bid to takeover the trust in mid-January and submitted its case to the NHS Trust Development Authority, which is now being assessed.

Documents published by the CCG state that financial plans are “commercially confidential” which is something that life president of Enfield Over 50s Forum, Monty Meth, has criticised.

He said: “Nowhere in the papers can we see a financial plan or forecasts about how this deficit will be tackled. This would not be the case if this was in the private sector.

“There has been no public consultation because not enough has been widely broadcasted by the authorities that this is taking place. There would more opposition if more people knew about it.”

Mr Meth is also concerned that money will be spent by the CCG during this takeover and fears that this will come from their NHS funds.

He added: “We need to know if there is money coming from the CCG into this and how that will affect services.

“We do not have confidence that this will become profitable and that would mean a loss of services in the area, something which we cannot afford to see.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal Free said: "The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is planning to acquire Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust because it believes it can deliver world class care to patients in Barnet and Enfield.

"As part of the acquisition process local commissioners, including Enfield CCG, are being asked to formally approve the transaction.

"If the proposed acquisition does go ahead, from 1 July the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, comprising of the Royal Free Hospital, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital, will have a statutory duty to deliver a high standard of care and to balance its books."

Councillor candidate and avid Chase Farm Hospital campaigner Kieran McGregor said that the decision should be defered.

He said: "The decision to move forward with the acquisition of BCF by the Royal Free should be deferred until the public have been consulted on the fine detail of the business case including the financial information.

"The NHS is funded by the tax payer and local taxpayers should have transparent access to the financial information driving this process."

The meeting will be held at Royal Chace Hotel in The Ridgeway Enfield at 12.30pm.

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