Sutton health bosses urge Surrey GPs to back BSBV review proposals to downgrade St Helier Hospital
Sutton's health bosses are are urging Surrey GPs to back plans to downgrade Epsom and St Helier Hospitals when they take a vote on the controversial plans.
This week Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are asking their GPs to vote against the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review – on what could be the last chance to force a change on the plans before they go to public consultation next year.
Despite a large campaign in Sutton against the proposals, Sutton's own health bosses, Sutton CCG, said they hoped their neighbours would vote to support BSBV.
Sutton CCG asked their GPs to vote earlier this year with 95 GPs saying the plans should go to public consultation, 59 saying no and 22 people abstaining. In May Sutton CCG’s board went on to vote in favour of BSBV going to public consultation.
Dr Chris Elliott, chief clinical officer of Sutton CCG, said: "We are aware that Surrey Downs CCG is balloting its GPs about their continued support for the BSBV programme. We would hope that the result supports the BSBV process.
"As we wait for the result of the ballot, we would emphasise that the issues that BSBV are trying to address have not gone away. Indeed, more and more evidence is emerging of the need for us to change the way the NHS operates if we are to deliver high quality, financially sustainable services for patients."
Paul Burstow the MP for Sutton and Cheam said: "It’s a pretty clear steer [Surrey Downs CCG] don’t think the proposals are worth supporting.
"I think it is another spanner in the works for BSBV and this time it’s the clinicians’ view that they don’t think we need to do this to achieve what we want to achieve."
If Surrey Downs CCG decide not to continue with BSBV Sutton CCG will work with their local health partners to decide their next steps. If they vote in favour of the proposals a date will be set for the seven CCGs involved in BSBV to meet.
Dr David Finch, joint medical director for BSBV, said: "Local clinicians know that the status quo is even less of an option now than when the BSBV programme was launched.
"All the evidence suggests - and most clinicians know - that the NHS is not currently set up in a way that is fit for purpose."
Results of the vote are expected to be in by Friday, November 8. Every Surrey GP has been sent an information pack from Surrey Downs CCG, including a recommendation that they vote against the proposals.
BSBV's proposals involve axeing Epsom Hospital's A&E, maternity and children's departments.
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