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Health minister visits Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore
The Secretary of State for Health put on his scrubs for a shift at a hospital as part of a fact finding visit.
Jeremy Hunt visited the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore on Thursday, assisting a number of tasks during his surprise visit.
He helped staff with tasks around the Brockley Hill hospital, including transporting patients at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre and Paediatric Acute Care Unit and serving food to patients.
The minister also spoke to clinical and non-clinical staff to discuss a variety of healthcare issues and answered many of their questions.
Mr Hunt said: “I go out every week to meet frontline staff and find out what they’re doing. We have the fairest health system in the world and I want to ensure it is also the best.
“The staff at the RNOH are truly committed and hard-working and it’s been a privilege to spend time with them and learn more about their valuable work."
During the visit the health secretary also met with by RNOH chief executive Rob Hurd and trust chairman Professor Anthony Goldstone to discuss the redevelopment of the hospital.
Last week, members of the Unison union who work at the site raised concerns about the use Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangements to pay for the redevelopment could lead to long-term debt.
However a spokeswoman for Department of Health said trusts are being helped to manage their contracts and identify where savings can be made to reduce the burden of PFI costs.
Earlier this year the hospital was granted planning permission to redevelop the site.
Currently, 60 per cent of the buildings are more than 60 years old and many wards were originally designed for temporary use during the Second World War.
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