Health cuts protesters stage demo outside South West London Collaborative Commissioning Group meeting

Health campaigners Frances Cornford, June Hautot, Sandra Ash, David Ash outside the SWLCCG meeting

Health campaigners Frances Cornford, June Hautot, Sandra Ash, David Ash outside the SWLCCG meeting

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Health campaigners fearful of cuts to hospital services across south west London staged a demonstration to ensure their voices are heard.

Armed with a Keep Our St Helier Hospital (KOSH) banner they claimed the latest strategy for healthcare is just the scrapped Better Services Better Value (BSBV) plan under a different name.

If BSBV's recommendations had gone ahead it could have meant the closure of St Helier Hospital's accident and emergency and maternity departments - and the campaigners believe they are still at risk.

Speaking at the protest last Thursday outside a South West London Collaborative Commissioning Group (SWLCCG) meeting at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, Frances Cornford said: “We are doing everything we can to raise awareness of the risks.

“When St George’s in Tooting is overwhelmed it sends its overflow to St Helier and if that closes then what’s it going to do?”

And veteran health activist June Hautot, 77, said: “The meeting is called Listening and Learning and I think we could teach them a thing or two.

“They have closed South London Hospital in Wandsworth which was a maternity hospital and now St George’s cannot cope.

“Now they want St Helier people to go to St George’s and it is not viable.”

And Sandra Ash said: “If there were any cuts in St Helier then St George’s would crumble under the strain and it would not cope with the extra patients.

“Last time they were looking about shutting down two hospitals and now Epsom has pulled out they could be looking at another victim to chop.

“Croydon will undoubtedly suffer.”

A SWLCCG spokesman said the clinical commissioning groups for Kingston, Croydon, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, and Wandsworth have not made any decisions about their five year strategy.

He said: “Over the last three years with BSBV and now with Call to Action we have been talking to people about health services.

“The meeting was a stakeholders event where we pulled together feedback and said is there anything we have missed.

“The CCGs are working on their five year strategy and that will be published in draft and from then the CCGs will make a decision in public.

“No site specific decisions will be taken.”

Comments (1)

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9:47pm Fri 16 May 14

Michael Pantlin says...

"Call to Action" seems a very vague government slogan unlikely to garner any public support from patients who are wanting stability in S. Helier Hospital and accessible services available whenever sickness strikes.
"Call to Action" seems a very vague government slogan unlikely to garner any public support from patients who are wanting stability in S. Helier Hospital and accessible services available whenever sickness strikes. Michael Pantlin
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