The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1991Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Speech at King’s College Hospital – 18 April 1991

Below are extracts from Mr Major’s speech at King’s College Hospital in London on 18th April 1991.



Thank Sir Ronald Grierson for hosting reception. King’s College Hospital one of the centres of excellence. Very aptly named, for it has built up a positively regal reputation for high standards of care, medical teaching and research.

But King’s recognise they cannot stand still. Trustees have seen the need to develop the standards of excellence, to take King’s into the 21st century.


The project is a wonderful example of partnership:

– between hospital, local communities, the primary care services;
– between the four main bodies of King’s – the administration, the teaching and research bodies, the trustees;
– between purchasers and providers of health care;
– and last but not at all least, between public money and private finance, between the Government and NHS and many, many private donors.

Glad that this partnership is paying off. Phase 1 already well underway.

Government’s Contribution

The Government has committed £16.4 million to phase 1 of the development. A substantial commitment of public funding. Shows our conviction of the outstanding worth of this project.

But however many millions Government spends, there is always a role for private giving and thank God for that.

In time available, impossible to name the host of people helping to speed King’s towards the year 2000. But I know that Lord Wolfson, Garfield Weston, and Paul Girolami have made contributions which are outstanding even by the supreme standards of generosity which every donor to the appeal has displayed.

Role of the Voluntary Sector

Always been a strong, warm tradition of charitable open-handedness in Britain.

Obviously good in itself. A vital part of an open and healthy society. Would be sad if had a society where Government crowded out voluntary effort. Right that Government funds should not be the only source of funds.

This means it is not just the Government’s priorities which always hold sway. Other priorities too can be accommodated.

Framework for Charitable Giving

The Government has done a lot to encourage charitable giving over the last decade

– gift aid: the Budget abolished the upper limit of £5 million for gift aid;
– tax reliefs to charities and on charitable giving: now worth at least £800 million a year;
– payroll giving on the up.

Increasingly generous framework within which charities can operate. Hope they will take advantage of it to the full.

NHS Reforms

Freeing up the institutions of the country to make their own choices. Vital part in improving public service. There are no second class citizens – there should be no second class services.

King’s have expressed interest in second wave trust status. Planning on this continues. The managerial freedom of trusts would allow providers to respond more quickly to the needs of their customers. A successful application would, I am sure, greatly enhance the appeal.


Science, and medical science no exception, developed at exponential rate. The 2000 project would enable King’s both to respond to that increase, and to stimulate it, for the benefit of all its patients. It adds up to an exciting provision of health care for the 21st century.
Best wishes for its success.