The healthcare review which is threatening both Epsom and St Helier hospital’s A&E and maternity departments is being postponed, it is understood.

The programme board of the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review is due to meet tomorrow and was expected to make a recommendation on which two hospitals in the region should lose their frontline services.

In a shock announcement this afternoon Chris Grayling the MP for Epsom and Ewell welcomed the postponement of a decision – which is now not expected until at least March.

He said: “I’m glad that the NHS has pulled back from making an instant decision based on a flawed process.

"I think there now needs to be a proper discussion of different options for our area, and sensible decisions need to be taken with the interests of the people of Surrey in mind.”

The announcement comes after a mounting pressure on BSBV this week when representatives from Sutton Council, Surrey County Council, Epsom and Ewell Council and Merton Council called for the review to be halted.

A spokesperson for BSBV said: “The BSBV Programme Board is not meeting until tomorrow. No decisions or recommendations have been made at this point.”