St Helier A&E and maternity closures would increase emergency response times
The closure of St Helier Hospital's accident and emergency departments would mean increased emergency response times to other hospitals.
Yesterday an NHS review panel recommended St Helier Hospital loses the two frontline departments.
A panel of 60 representatives made up from SW London hospital trusts, local authority members and community representatives recommended St Helier lose its frontline services over Croydon University and Kingston hospital.
They scored each hospital as part of the Better Service, Better Value healthcare review, which announced two months ago one of the hospitals faced the cuts.
According to statistics that formed part of the review, 218,971 people would be affected by the proposed closure of the two frontline departments.
Patients who would have used St Helier's A&E or maternity services would face up to six minutes further "blue light" emergency travel time in an ambulance to a different hospital.
The predicted average increase in emergency travel time would be 3.3 minutes.
People who would normally drive to St Helier to use the services would face up to 12.4 minutes extra travel time, while people using public transport face a longer journey of up to 27 minutes.
MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake, said: "The demand for A&E has been increasing in recent years and there is a spurt in the number of births locally.
"These factors point to the need to maintain our A&E and maternity."
It is expected that St Helier hospital will now host a new planned surgery centre and a "range of other services".
The recommendation will be ratified by various boards before a three month public consultation begins and a final decision is taken by the NHS.
During that time this newspaper will fight to have the recommendation thrown out.