May 2013



Dear Friend,

Last week the local NHS announced its favoured option for the future of all the local hospitals in South West London. And it’s really bad news for St Helier hospital. You can read more here.

For the past few months, it’s looked bad. The NHS said it needed to find £370m of savings, and it was considering closing St Helier’s A&E and Maternity Units. But last week, they said they would need to go even further than that. There won’t even be any elective surgery there. That means there will hardly be anything left at St Helier. Epsom Hospital will also lose its A&E and Maternity Unit, although it won’t be downgraded as much as St Helier, and will carry on as a centre for elective care.

We’re carrying on the fight to save St Helier. But it’s going to be hard. The next stage is that local GPs, who now run Merton’s NHS through the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), must meet and give their opinion on the plans. Their meeting is at 12.30pm next Thursday (16 May) at 120 The Broadway, Wimbledon. It’s a public meeting, and you can go along if you want. You can also submit a question here. If you’re interested in coming, Siobhain will be there too. If you want someone to go with, give us a ring.

Even if you can’t come, there’s one thing you can do to help. The CCG are planning to consult the public about these plans between June and September – even though this is the time when most people take their annual holidays. So if you’ve got a moment, please write to the CCG saying that you are against the plans, and unhappy that the consultation is taking place over the summer. It would be much better if they delayed the start of the consultation until after the end of the summer holidays! You can email the Chief Officer of Merton CCG at eleanor.brown2@nhs.net (and please send a copy to me too, at siobhain@mmlp.org.uk).

If you want any help with the words of your email, have a look at the bottom of this email. Try to use your own words, and your own stories, but if you need inspiration it’s a good starting point!

My best wishes,


Siobhain McDonagh MP
Member of Parliament for Mitcham and Morden
 

Suggested email to eleanor.brown2@nhs.net

Eleanor Brown
Chief Officer
Merton CCG 3rd Floor
Wimbledon Bridge House
1 Hartfield Road
London SW19 3RU



Dear Ms Brown

I am contacting you because I understand Merton CCG is considering whether to consult on downgrading St Helier Hospital. I strongly disagree. I think it will lead to a worse health service for people like me, and will lead to extra costs elsewhere.

[Please add something about how the closure of services at St Helier will affect you here.]

I am also unhappy that public consultation over this decision might take place during the summer holiday period as most people with an interest in our local NHS are going to be away at some point, and it will be impossible to coordinate events that allow everyone to participate. I strongly urge you to delay the consultation until after the summer holiday period has ended.

Yours sincerely,

[Please insert your name and address here.]
 
And don’t forget to send a copy of your email to siobhain@mmlp.org.uk – thanks!



PS – If you want my help with any issue, I hold an advice surgery at the Civic Centre in Morden every Friday from 2pm until the early evening; for an appointment, simply call my office on 020 7219 4678.