An NHS hospital trust has been formally warned it could be declared bust – in the first case of its kind.
South London Healthcare had a £69m debt at the start of the financial year.
The health secretary has told the trust an administrator could be brought in within weeks. The trust could be dissolved and some services closed.
A spokesman for the trust reassured patients that services would be run “as normal” until a decision was made.
South London Healthcare was a merger of three hospital trusts which saw an amalgamation of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich in 2009.
When the three hospitals became one organisation they inherited a large debt – mainly from the private finance initiative (PFI) that had been used for the buildings at Orpington and Woolwich.
In recent years, the deficit has got worse – it reached 2012 with £69m of debt on a turnover of just over £424m.
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