Mitcham and Morden MP calls urgent briefing amid fears of 'almost total' closure of St Helier Hospital
The MP for Mitcham and Morden has called an urgent briefing over the "almost total closure" of St Helier Hospital.
The Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review of healthcare in south west London and north Surrey has recommended A&E, maternity and children’s services to close at both St Helier and Epsom hospitals.
In a letter to residents MP Siobhain McDonagh said: "It is clear to me that the plans currently being considered would lead to the almost total closure of St Helier Hospital.
"They are more drastic than we first feared and are more drastic than we have been told.
"At no point in these plans is it explained where St Helier patients would go or how long the hospital will remain open.
"I believe the Government are stalling this consultation until they decide what to do about Lewisham Hospital."
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt had proposed to downgrade Lewisham Hospital - a plan recently thrown out by a High Court judge who declared it unlawful.
Speaking to the Wimbledon Guardian Ms McDonagh said: "People are making an entirely rational decision to oppose this.
"They are not being difficult or bloody minded.
"We are being offered the closure of our hospital but not being told what it’s going to be replaced with.
"[The Lewisham decision] has concentrated my mind on just how powerful GPs are.
"We know that were powerful but the judgement turns on the fact that they didn’t get consent in Lewisham from the GPs.
"So the GPs in Merton, Sutton, Epsom and Croydon are crucial, absolutely crucial to this."
She added: "This is an untried experiment.
"We are hearing from the CCGs and certain personnel that actually you don’t need all the A&Es and it will be ok but we don’t know that is true."
BSBV argue that "better out of hospital care" is at the heart of their vision and they aim to drive up the quality of care and health services in the region - as well as making sure the local NHS spends its money as effectively as possible.
Those involved in campaigning against the downgrading of Lewisham Hospital will be on hand to offer their insight at the meeting which will be held on Thursday, September 5, from 7.30 to 9pm at the Morden Baptist Church in Crown Lane, Morden.
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