Doctor claims Epsom and St Helier hospital campaigners are harming efforts to improve care
A doctor from a controversial healthcare review has accused campaigners and politicians of creating “toxic” political pressures which could derail their proposals.
Dr Marilyn Plant, director for the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review, claimed their proposals were an “opportunity of a lifetime” to sort out south west London’s healthcare.
St Helier Hospital
The review is hoping to go to consultation before Christmas on plans to close St Helier and Epsom hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E), maternity and paediatric departments. The three main hospitals in Kingston, Tooting and Croydon are set for expansion if the plans go ahead.
However, Dr Plant said that “toxic” political pressure in the region risked derailing the changes which she claims are “needed to keep people safe”.
In an interview, with the London Evening Standard yesterday, Dr Plant accused politicians of being focused on their personal electorate and said they were struggling to appreciate the “greater good”.
Tom Brake MP
But Tom Brake the MP for Carshalton and Wallington hit back, saying: "11,000 people have signed our Save St Helier hospital petition.
“They have signed because they care about the future of the A&E, maternity and children's ward at St Helier Hospital and because the BSBV team have failed completely in their efforts to convince people that their plans will improve healthcare in South West London and are deliverable.
"That is the challenge BSBV have to overcome."
Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton and Cheam, said: "What complete rot. BSBV is nothing to do with integration and everything to do with consolidation.
"The lack of a plan for out of hospital care demonstrates this is all about creating a few 'super' hospitals.
"Risk is this results in a less resilient system. Pity Marilyn hasn't engaged with the details of my critique of BSBV. But her comments do suggest she fears our campaign is succeeding."
Dr Marilyn Plant will be taking part in a filmed interview with the Sutton Guardian this Friday when we will put your questions to her. Email your questions now to firstname.lastname@example.org
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