Business as usual at Epsom and St Helier hospitals as decision day looms
The chief executive of Epsom and St Helier hospitals has reacted to speculation that the two hospitals face frontline closures.
The Better Services Better Value (BSBV) healthcare review last year proposed St Helier hospital should lose its A&E, maternity and children's ward.
After the collapse of Epsom hospital’s merger with Ashford and St Peter’s and its inclusion in the BSBV review it was announced that two hospitals in the region should lose their A&E and maternity departments.
The BSBV programme board will meet tomorrow to make their recommendations and the fate of both St Helier and Epsom hospitals looks bleak after a leaked document revealed their slim chances of retaining their frontline services.
The chief executive of the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS trust, Matthew Hopkins, has issued a statement in response to the speculation.
He said he wanted to remind patients and local people that BSBV is not just about Epsom and St Helier hospitals and that it affects Croydon, St George's and Kingston hospitals too.
He said: “I wanted to remind people that any BSBV recommendations will be subject to a 12 week public consultation which will give patients, local people, hospital staff and others a chance to have their say about the proposals.
“In addition, I wanted to assure people that, despite the uncertainty, all services across our hospitals continue to run as normal - from our busy A&E departments to our popular maternity units.
“And, whilst this is of course an unsettling time for our doctors, nurses, midwives and other staff, they continue to provide the very best possible care.
“Importantly, our hospital services are amongst the best locally, with shorter than average waiting times and low mortality rates.
“Moreover, we continue to receive good feedback from our patients, and independent expert reviews of the quality and safety of our hospitals have given us a clean bill of health.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our patients and local people for the ongoing support and commitment you give to our hospitals. I know it means a lot to our staff.”
There will not be a public announcement of tomorrow’s meeting until Thursday, February 21.