Public consultation on closure of St Helier's vital services postponed
The healthcare review proposing to cut St Helier Hospital’s vital services has postponed the public consultation.
The Better Services Better Value (BSBV) health care review has proposed that St Helier Hospital should be the hospital in SW London to lose its accident and emergency, maternity and children's ward.
The public consultation which was due to start in October had already been postponed by a month.
Health bosses have been unable to say how long the postponement will be.
A statement issued from the Better Services Better Value team this afternoon has postponed the consultation while further work is carried out to discover the impact of the proposed cuts on Surrey residents.
A BSBV spokesman said: “The BSBV programme will be recommending to the NHS SW London Board that it should delay launching its public consultation on BSBV.
“This is because NHS Surrey wish to more fully understand the impact of BSBV on their residents who use NHS services in south west London, and implications for the NHS in Surrey before public consultation begins.
“This means that the BSBV programme and NHS Surrey now need more time to carry out further detailed analysis of the impact of the proposals.”
The MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Burstow, said: "It’s time that those pushing BSBV woke up to the fact that as every day goes by their plans are unravelling.
“An indefinite postponement of the consultation on their plans is the worst of all worlds. It leaves nurses, midwives and doctors at St Helier in limbo uncertain of their futures and it leaves the public unable to cast a verdict on the plans.
"Rather than postponing consultation NHS SW London should be calling time on BSBV and working with St Helier to map out a future that secures emergency and maternity care."
Tom Brake the MP for Carshalton and Wallington said: "BSBV is running out of time and steam.
"It is looking increasingly likely that local GPs will end up taking the critical decision about the future of our local hospitals.
"GPs have their fingers on patients' pulses and should have a better picture of what patients want - a local hospital with an A&E, maternity and children's ward."