The review into whether St Helier’s A&E and Maternity Services should be moved to St Georges’ Hospital in Tooting has been scrapped. After Epsom Hospital pulled out of the Better Services, Better Value review which covered St Georges’, Croydon, Kingston, St Helier and Epsom Hospitals, Sutton’s Clinical Commissioning Group of GPs have decided not to go ahead with the unpopular proposals.
I am glad that the clinicians that led the ill-fated BSBV review have realised the depth of feeling of local people. Now we need stability. Scrapping the review is an important step but we need to find a way to ensure that the hospital gets on a secure financial footing and continues to improve on its vital services for local residents.
The Sutton Guardian reports that the £219m earmarked to redevelop the hospital will not be spent on St Helier and the banner on the front of the hospital is to be taken down. It is regrettable that we won’t see the benefit of the much-needed investment, though it was always clear to most that nothing could be built until the clinicians could agree on what kind of hospital they actually wanted to see on the site. I can only imagine the conversations in the Treasury and Department of Health at the squabbling in South London when other hospitals were crying out for funding. We have to come up with a plan that is acceptable to clinicians, local elected representatives and GPs to provide effective local healthcare and make a solid business case for the funding that might be needed rather than the piecemeal reviews and political posturing that has dogged the hospital for the last 15 years or so.