Epsom and St Helier hospitals announce record attendances as threat of closure looms
Epsom and St Helier announced record breaking attendances for both their maternity units and accident and emergency (A&E), the same week both were threatened with closure.
Last year Epsom and St Helier Hospitals welcomed 5,437 babies – a two per cent increase on the previous year and a massive 27 per cent increase since 2002.
The figures come just weeks after St Helier Hospital was awarded a £500,000 grant from the Department for Health to further improve their state of the art maternity unit.
Sally Sivas, head of midwifery, said: “Our absolute priority is to ensure every new parent and baby is given the best possible and safest care in a friendly and welcoming environment, and we do all we can to treat every family as if they are the only people we are looking after.
"That commitment starts from their first appointment with us through to the birth and postnatal care.
“It was a record breaking year for us, and we are absolutely delighted to have helped deliver such a large number of babies.
"All of the staff in our units are very proud of the work that we do, and it’s great to know that we are now more popular than ever.
Accident and emergency departments at Epsom and St Helier hospitals treated 143,511 people last year – 1,367 more than in 2011 – or 393 patients a day.
Of this figure 82,284 visited St Helier Hospital and 54,684 visited Epsom Hospital, with a further 6,543 patients visiting the specialist eye A&E at Sutton Hospital.
Dr Martin Stockwell is a consultant in intensive care medicine and anaesthesia and the trust’s joint medical director.
He said: “The number of people using our A&E departments has been increasing for many years, but 2012 was undoubtedly our busiest year ever.
A healthcare review which is threatening both Epsom and St Helier hospital’s A&E and maternity departments was postponed this week after mounting pressure from residents and councils.
The programme board of the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review was due to meet today and was expected to make a recommendation on which two hospitals in the region should lose their frontline services.
A decision on which option should go out to public consultation is now not expected until March.