Bartlet's millions lost forever

CAMPAIGNERS trying to find the “missing millions” they believe should keep Felixstowe's Bartlet Hospital running forever were told today records of the money had been destroyed.

CAMPAIGNERS trying to find the “missing millions” they believe should keep Felixstowe's Bartlet Hospital running forever were told today records of the money had been destroyed.

After months of research, health bosses say it is not clear what happened to the cash left by Dr John Bartlet but it is believed the money went to the government when the NHS was set up in 1948.

At that time there was around £170,000 in the trust fund for the convalescent and rehabilitation unit - a huge amount of money for the time.

Roy Gray, chairman of the Felixstowe Save Our Hospitals Action Group (SOHAG), said: “The Primary Care Trust has looked into this very thoroughly and we are grateful for their time and effort.

“Obviously we are not satisfied with the outcome and are very disappointed.

“Dr Bartlet left this money in his will for the Bartlet, for the care of the people of east Suffolk, and it has been swallowed up and vanished in some central pot.

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“That is clearly wrong and should not have happened but at the time people obviously never thought the Bartlet would ever be under threat. I don't think there is anything more we can do.”

In a letter to SOHAG, Martin Royal, director of business development for the PCT, said under the charity law, organisations only had to keep records for six years and the trust did not have paperwork going back to 1948.

He said: “We do not have the detailed transfer evidence but we understand that whilst the hospital itself transferred to the state under control of the appointed local health authority, the funds passed to the then minister of health to become part of the government central hospital endowment fund.”

Dr Bartlet left £250,000 in his will for the Bartlet to be built as a gift but it cost only around £100,000 to buy the land and construct the building, leaving £150,000 which was set up in an endowment fund to keep the hospital open “indefinitely”.

The Bartlet is set to close this year as part of changes to health services in the area.

WEBLINK

www.suffolkpct.nhs.uk

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