St Helier Proposals... Again

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10 July 2017

St Helier 2017 Earlier today I received news from Daniel Elkeles, the Chief Executive of Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, of critical services being taken from St Helier Hospital. Along with the local community, I have consistently campaigned against this, fighting for an improved St Helier: keeping the hospital’s services at the heart of our community for the residents that rely on it.

The proposal’s indicate that services including major A&E and maternity care may be moved away from St Helier Hospital with specialist acute services from Epsom, Sutton and St Helier hospitals all coming under one, new, roof.

Though I welcome the investment in today’s proposals, I believe Epsom and St Helier Trust’s preferred outcome is for these services to be based next to Sutton Hospital’s site in Belmont rather than at St Helier Hospital.

We have, of course, been here before. In 2011, the extremely similar ‘Better Services Better Value’ review was launched and failed at an eventual cost of £8.2 million.

If the proposals go ahead, will emergency ambulances still arrive at St Helier Hospital? Will consultant led maternity units still operate at St Helier? What will the impact be for the thousands of residents who potentially have to travel a further 6.9 miles to a major A&E be? These are just some of the incredibly important questions I will be challenging the Trust on. As soon as a public consultation is launched, I encourage you all to express your views so that our community can be heard.

We are a growing and ageing population, cared for by an ageing hospital needing investment. It is absolutely crucial that we invest in and support a fully operating St Helier Hospital.