Army of children march against proposed closures at St Helier Hospital
Around 60 children from Cheam Fields Primary School set off on a three mile march yesterday morning to deliver a petition to hospital bosses.
Cheam Fields Primary School pupils outside St Helier Hospital
The pupils, aged between 10 and 11, are angry about the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review’s plans to close the A&E, children’s services and maternity department – where most of them were born.
The petition has been signed by approximately 430 parents, carers and school staff.
The youngsters met with Mike Bailey consultant urologist and joint medical director for BSBV.
One of the youngsters, 10-year-old Sahil said: “Most of us were born in St Helier Hospital so it’s important to us that it stays.
“We want to save the maternity and A&E wards here because if someone gets really hurt then they will end up having to go far away to get treatment and mums may end up giving birth while driving.”
Pupils hand their petition to Mike Bailey with councillor Mary Burstow
Claire Powell, teacher at Cheam Fields Primary School, said the children had been studying the impact closures would have and added: “It’s part of our community and we want to keep it that way.”
Cheam councillor and chair of Sutton Council’s health and well being scrutiny committee, Mary Burstow, said a big thank you to the children and it was important to show the decision makers just how central St Helier is to the community.
BSBV argue that “better out of hospital care” is at the heart of their vision and they are aiming to drive up the quality of care and health services in the region – as well as making sure the local NHS spends its money as effectively as possible.
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