SW London hospitals cannot avoid cuts
Health bosses have said no cuts to A&E and maternity at a SW London hospital is not an option.
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.
The panel ranked which hospital should host a planned surgery centre and lose their A&E and maternity departments.
Dr David Finch, local GP and joint medical director for BSBV, said: “The one thing that I took away from that panel was a very strong statement that ‘no change’ was not an option.
“I think the panel looked at the reality of the challenges that face us in health care and looked at the numbers, they’ve looked at clinical safety issues, they’ve looked at the work force considerations and the panel came to a very clear conclusion that “no change” was not an option.”
The panel's results:
- St Helier Hospital = 201 points
- Kingston Hospital = 119 points
- Croydon University Hospital = 109 points
- No change = 85 points
Dr Finch said the clinical working groups have been asked to look at the very difficult and challenging set of few years they need to take the health service through.
He added: “I think the panel took the view that we have some very difficult issues to face but we have got some real answers going forward and that’s around four hospitals working together in a collaborative way so that we specialise some of the things that we do into centres of excellence.
“Clearly what we need to do is to change something – we are talking about building centres of excellence.
“The clinical view and the panel’s view is that we can deal with this problem that we have, that ‘no change’ is not an option, and we have some suggested ways forward for all of the hospitals in SW London.”
Howard Freeman, local GP and joint medical director for BSBV, said: “The scoring panel 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 was the result.”
At 6.30pm this evening at the Civic Offices a Joint Scrutiny meeting will be held.
Councillors will be quizzing the Better Services Better Value team on progress so far.
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