NHS Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group have been exploring how to meet the healthcare needs of the population in their joint geographical area in a sustainable way, under the ‘Improving Healthcare Together’ project.
One of the options they have been studying includes consolidating major acute services onto one site.
The group has announced that it has submitted a Pre-consultation Business Case to the NHS showing where the major acute services should be based. This takes in to consideration the services delivered across the three hospital sites of Epsom, St Helier and Sutton.
The report states that the evidence finds the Sutton hospital site as ranking first for the new facility, followed by St Helier and then Epsom.
Under the proposal no hospitals would close. In all options, both Epsom and St Helier hospitals would remain open to provide local district hospital services the majority of activity (around 85%) would remain on the same site as it is currently provided.
Councillor Barry Nash, Chair of the council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee, greeted the publication of the report with mixed feelings: “I welcome that we are gradually getting to a point where local residents will have access to a new, state-of-the-art emergency healthcare facility, but disappointed that emerging evidence is pointing to the new facility being developed outside of our Borough.
“We have assurances that whatever the outcome of this project, Epsom Hospital will continue to provide its existing core services and that investment in Epsom Hospital facilities will continue.
“This is a first step in the establishment of a new, specialised unit which will benefit the area enormously.
“The council will continue to engage with the Improving Health Together project as we await the decision from the NHS, and in the event they move to public consultation”.
The Improving Health Care Together programme has confirmed that they await the national assurance process to be undertaken, before making the decision to move to public consultation on all of the options available.
Epsom and St Helier University Hospital Trust recently announced the investment from the sale of land on their Epsom site into Epsom Hospital to enhance the quality of hospital facilities.