St Helier: Review panel statements
5:07pm Wednesday 9th May 2012 in News
Members of the Better Services, Better Value review panel have released statements regarding the recommendation to axe A&E and maternity services at St Helier.
Dr Howard Freeman, local GP and Joint Medical Director, said:
“Clinicians leading this programme are committed to four hospitals in south west London but we know that the services at all four of our local hospitals need to change to better meet the needs of the local population. Our population is ageing, we have more people living with long term conditions and a rising birth rate. Doctors, nurses and patients representatives have worked hard in Clinical Working Groups for the past year looking at the clinical evidence, debating and testing with patients and public the models of care for health services. We want to get our proposals for the local NHS right and that takes time.
“The options appraisal process – financial and non-financial – is about identifying what options are viable and then which option is preferred. The scores from the panel will now be combined with financial scoring which we expect to be available later this month. Even after combining these scores, we will need to work up those options that score highest to make sure they would deliver the changes to local health services that we need. Once this detailed and comprehensive modelling analysis has been done, we will then know if the options modelled would work in practice. It is important that we do this work before formally consulting the public. This is why the scoring panel is happening now – a long way before public consultation.
“Today has been a uniquely open and transparent approach to scoring these options; it is unusual to directly involve so many people in this way. We asked people in January how they thought we should do this and this panel was the result.
"As doctors and nurses, we want high quality, safe health services and patients have told us they want the same. There is a long way to go before we put firm proposals to the public for them to have their say. No decisions will be made without the views of local people being considered in full.”
Dr David Finch, local GP and Joint Medical Director for BSBV, said:
“We want to make local health services better and safer for our patients. We believe we can improve vital and life-saving services by creating centres of excellence for A&E, maternity and planned surgery. We also want to move services from hospitals to community services so people are kept well, kept out of hospital and treated as close to home as possible.
“Changing the way we deliver health services will save lives – 520 lives could have been saved last year across London if hospital staffing was the same at weekends as weekdays. Remember that London-wide stroke and major trauma were criticised at first as they meant longer travelling times in an emergency – but they have saved hundreds of lives. As a local GP, I am convinced that our proposals will save lives too and that they will improve services for my patients.”
Mr Michael Bailey, Senior Surgeon and Acute Medical Director for BSBV, said:
“Throughout the day I spoke to a number of my fellow panel members including GPs, hospital doctors, nurses as well as patients and the public. I believe each one of us took our role on the panel extremely seriously and considered the evidence for each of the criteria including patient experience and clinical quality carefully in our task to weigh up the options.
"The panel’s view on the future shape of local services will now be combined with a financial appraisal.
"Later this month, the BSBV Clinical Strategy Group and Programme Board will consider both, before the Joint Boards of South West London Primary Care Trusts decide which options should be modelled in full to be presented to the public for formal consultation later this year.”