NHS Richmond has moved to quell fears over the future of Teddington Memorial Hospital (TMH) despite new Government plans set to radically shake up the health service.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley last week announced a major restructuring of the health service, with hospitals moved out of the NHS, GPs to control most of the money for the service and the abolition of primary care trusts (PCTs).

A spokesman from the borough’s PCT, NHS Richmond, confirmed the organisation will cease to exist by April 2013 but reassured residents TMH is safe.

He said: “The Government’s White Paper provides us with more detail about the future plans for NHS services.

“NHS Richmond needs to continue to work with GPs, the local authority, staff, patients and the public as we get more detail to understand how this will affect our work in the borough and to identify our priorities over the next few months. We are clear that all PCTs, including NHS Richmond, will cease to exist by April 2013.

“We will be working closely with GPs and Richmond Council to develop future commissioning arrangements which will be led by a consortia of GPs. The transition of our primary care contracting will be to the new NHS Commissioning Board; and public health responsibilities will be passing to the local authority. These changes will not happen overnight and it is clear that PCTs will have a key role to play in this transition period.

“Meanwhile, we will continue with our plans to deliver more healthcare closer to home. TMH is at the heart of those plans and we are confident that healthcare services will continue to be commissioned there now and in the future.”

Earlier this year the League of Friends of Teddington Hospital raised concerns for the 82-year-old hospital after a plan under the former Government for it to seek alignment with a bigger hospital or community trust was revealed.

The friends fear any association or merger involving the hospital would lead to a leakage of local control and identity; and eventually a decline in service provision.

Twickenham MP Vince Cable, part of the coalition cabinet that has promoted the latest changes, met Sian Bates, chairwoman of NHS Richmond, to discuss the future of the hospital.

He said: “The coalition Government has made it clear that it wants to move to GPs commissioning healthcare on behalf of their patients.

“The GPs in Teddington, Hampton Wick and Twickenham want to work to build up Teddington hospital. The hospital fits entirely into the new Government’s view of healthcare provision and should have a secure future.

“The discussions I had with the PCT were very positive but we need to remove any remaining uncertainties over its future.”