The delay to the review that could see Epsom and St Helier hospitals' accident and emergency (A&E) departments close is to allow for further consultation, health bosses have said.

Yesterday the Better Services, Better Value (BSBV) review was due to make a decision and subsequent announcement on which hospitals would face the cuts.

But it did not make a decision or announcement, and caused anger among concerned residents for not explaining what was happening.

A statement released by BSBV in the past half an hour has said: "No decisions have been made. Clinicians in South West London are still discussing what options would be best to improve health services in the local area. The Programme Board met yesterday to review progress and agreed to allow more time to engage and talk to local people and stakeholders in Surrey and elsewhere."

"We have been advised that our engagement in Surrey to date is in line with what has been done similar NHS service change programmes.

"But we have listened to the concerns expressed by Surrey stakeholders and we agree we could do more, especially given that we would not be able to go to consultation in any case until after the local election purdah period."