Improvements to Croydon's A&E face delays after multi-million pound review scrapped
Proposed improvements to Croydon University Hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E) department face significant delays after a healthcare review which cost millions of pounds collapsed.
An announcement from the six Clinical Commissioning Groups in south west London said they now want to develop a new five year strategy for local health services rather than continue with the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review.
The review has cost taxpayers £8.2m and made no significant changes to healthcare over the last three years.
It means plans to upgrade Croydon’s services, particularly the A&E and maternity departments at Croydon University Hospital, face significant delays.
The preferred option for health bosses involved in the review was for St Helier and Epsom Hospital to lose their A&E and maternity departments and the equivalent departments at Croydon, St George's and Kingston to expand by 2017-18.
But the plans are now off the table, at least until new recommendations are published in June.
The hospital’s maternity department was labelled as one of the worst in the country last year in a CQC report but has since improved significantly following fresh investment.
Croydon North MP Steve Reed said it was a botched review and reiterated his stance that the town’s health services needed improvement as soon as possible.
BSBV's purpose was to consult on a variety of measures to cut costs in local healthcare.
There was also an option where Croydon would lose its A&E and maternity departments but this was one of the least preferable and was widely considered unrealistic.
The six CCGs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, Epsom and Wandsworth, say they are still committed to bringing in change and improving local services.
A statement released on Tuesday said although they would not continue with their programme they will be discussing a new approach with the various boards and a new five year strategy is set to be announced in June.
Steve Reed said Croydon residents will no longer accept plans that will pose a threat to the town’s services.
He said: "This botched consultation has wasted £8m that should have been spent on local health services and stems from the Government's failure to properly fund the NHS in the first place.
"Local people will not accept any further plans to downgrade local services when the CCG chairs produce new proposals in June."
Mark Justice, chairman of Healthwatch Croydon, an independent community group, said it was a missed opportunity to improve the town’s health services.
He said: "We needed this to start turning things around. It is something that needed to be sorted out now not five years down the line otherwise we are going to have more difficulties with our health and social care in Croydon."
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