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  • "Have I got this wrong or do I understand correctly that Paul Burstow MP as a Care Minister in the Coalition Government is behind the driving force that landed SWLNHS with giving the task to BSBV of cutting out A&E, Maternity, Pathology and Childrens' Services at St. Helier Hospital while his wife Cllr Burstow is chairing at meeting at Sutton Civic Europa Gallery to listen to residents objections. Our undoubtedly hard-working Carshalton MP Tom Brake is busy organising a petition (I've collected a few sheets of signatures myself) to save the hospital but like Cllr Burstow voted to support Nick Clegg in supporting David Cameron's NHS privatisation Act. The Early Day Motion Tom is putting to Parliament aims to bring attention to the need to stop other flawed closure plans in other areas but EDMs seldom get anywhere and it is unlikely to save St. Helier Hospital. I think this plan has been cut and dried from a very early stage from the top as a way of creating delay and pain to drive forward a privatised health care system from the back door. Even the Hospital CEO's public CV shows a great track record in cutting costs and slimming down hospitals while the previous CEO Samantha Jones left the job to join private health care provider UK Health. All coincidence - or conspiracy? You can make up your own mind."
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NHS claims are a "sick joke" says Sutton Council leader

NHS claims are a "sick joke" says council leader

Sutton Council leader Ruth Dombey

St Helier is set to lose vital services

The Sutton Guardian has launched a Save St Helier campaign

First published in Save St Helier Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Claims made by NHS chiefs about the future of St Helier hospital have been branded a “sick joke” by the leader of Sutton Council.

In a report into the future of NHS services in south London, NHS chiefs claim that visits to St Helier could be reduced by up to 40 per cent.

The report was one of the documents studied by the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) panel, which last month recommended that St Helier’s accident and emergency, maternity and children’s wards should be closed.

However, Sutton Council leader, Ruth Dombey, said: “The idea that the number of people using A&E can be cut by 40 per cent at a stroke is a sick joke.

“The number of people visiting St Helier A&E is increasing because the population is increasing. If they think that can be reduced they are living in a fantasy world.

“The fact that some people have no further treatment is irrelevant. Patients need the reassurance that only a real emergency department can provide.”

The Urgent and Emergency Care Clinical Working Group Final Clinical Report suggests that up to 40 per cent of patients who visited A&E could be treated outside hospitals in GP’s surgeries, patient’s own homes and other community settings.

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However, 2010-11 alone St Helier Hospital treated 81,739 emergency cases, three per cent up on the previous year.

Councillor Dombey added: “All of the community services are useful, but how can we possibly believe that they can take the place of A&E or have the capacity to see more people than they do already?

“The BSBV review is recommending cuts to local hospital services without considering the fact that the money available for community services is also shrinking every year. How can social care services possibly pick up the tab?

“It’s very telling indeed that the National Clinical Advisory Team, which advises on the potential effectiveness of healthcare plans, has maintained a deafening silence since BSBV recommended this plan.

“Sutton’s residents have a right to know that their health is being properly looked after and this botched plan certainly doesn’t do that.”

Councillors have called a special meeting on June 11 to grill health service officials on the proposals.

The BSBV plan will be subject to public consultation once the BSBV programme board has approved the closures.

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