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London hospitals announce shake-up

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Three major teaching hospitals have unveiled a ground breaking service reorganisation under which they will exchange responsibility for providing key specialised services.

Health reporting HSJ and LGC logo

The plans were put forward this week by University College London Hospitals, Royal Free London foundation trusts and Barts Health Trust. They shared details with LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal.

The scheme would see specialist cardiac services move from UCLH to Barts. Specialist urological cancer surgery will transfer to University College London Hospitals and the Royal Free.

The plans were made by UCL Partners, the academic health science centre partnership covering north and east London, of which all three organisations are members.

UCL Partners managing director Professor David Fish told HSJ: “The days of every large teaching hospital trying to do everything very well are possibly behind us.”

One senior figure working on a different clinical service change plan, commenting on UCL Partners’ plans, told HSJ the proposal reflected the fact that “commissioners just don’t have the clout [to lead service change] any more, they just say to the big providers ‘get on with it’”.

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