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Paul Burstow: “We have saved St Helier before, and we will fight to do so again”

May 10, 2012 11:22 AM

Local MP reacts as NHS panel recommends St Helier lose its A&E and maternity services

Last night a 60 person panel made up of GPs, patient groups, NHS representatives and South West London councils recommended that St Helier should become the centre for planned surgery in SW London losing its A&E and maternity units. The recommendation of the panel is part of the Better Services Better Value review being run by the local NHS.

The review was initiated by the local NHS not by the Department of Health. Decisions about healthcare are taken by local NHS organisation not Ministers. In the event that the final decision taken was challenged it could be referred to the Secretary of State for Health for a final decision.

Our local MP has raised serious concerns about the way in which Better Services, Better Value, and the talks about a merger with St Georges have been handled. Treated as completely separate discussions in fact they directly impacted on each other.

At this point no final decisions have been taken. Whilst important, the panel's recommendations are not binding and mark the beginning of a process which will include a public consultation, expected in early autumn.

Local Lib Dems have previously fought to save St Helier and in 2010 secured £219m to refurbish and rebuild the hospital.

Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton and Cheam commented:

"This is a flawed conclusion from a flawed process. There is still a lot of water to flow under the bridge before final decisions are made.

"The panel have ignored the pressure on all the A&Es and maternity units in south west London.

"A cloud has gathered over St Helier but I believe we can mount a successful challenge to the assumptions that have led the panel to this conclusion.

"We have saved St Helier before, and we will fight to do so again."

Sign our petition to save St Helier Hospital's A&E department and maternity unit here.