Staff at the first NHS trust in the country to be put into “special measures” over its precarious financial situation only found out when they watched the evening news.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley last week took the first step towards putting South London Healthcare Trust into administration, which would effectively declare it bankrupt.
A senior figure at the trust told Nursing Times he was “very angry” that its 6,000 employees were not told before the media was informed about the situation.
A trust spokesman said: “This has obviously been a difficult time for our staff who rightly feel very great pride in the quality of care they provide for patients, including among the lowest mortality and infection rates in the country.
“We informed our staff as soon as we were made aware, and this has been followed up with an extensive series of staff meetings on all of our hospital sites.”
South London Healthcare recorded a £65m deficit in 2011-12, partially as a result of a private finance initiative used to rebuild two of its three hospitals.