In September 1986 the Horder Centre Chairman, Denys Milne met the Regional Medical Officer, Dr Malcolm Forsythe, to discuss a proposal to establish a surgical unit at the Centre to treat NHS patients. Following this meeting he wrote to the South East Thames Regional Health Authority Chairman, Sir Peter Baldwin, providing him with a short summary of the situation as he saw it.
Milne’s aim was to ensure that if the Centre went ahead the NHS authorities would use the facility. Sir Peter was a man known for his quiet reason and practical action. After discussion with his officers he replied to Milne confirming that he wished to arrive at an agreed basis for taking the project forward. This decision to treat NHS patients in an independent hospital outside the state system was almost unknown then. The two chairmen were breaking new ground and this correspondence was to lead to the Heads of Agreement which took the project forward to fruition.
Below: Sir Peter Balwin