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BSBV moves forward to axe children's services in SW London

Queen Mary's Hospital for Children at St Helier Hospital

Queen Mary's Hospital for Children at St Helier Hospital

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

Health bosses are pushing forward with their plans to close three children’s wards in SW London.

NHS SW London's Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review into healthcare in the region today published formal recommendations to have a single children’s hospital in SW London based at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

St Helier, Kingston and Croydon University hospitals are all set to lose their inpatient paediatric care as a result.

This will mean that St Helier Hospital’s 18-bed inpatient ward at its specialist children’s hospital could be lost.

Details of the BSBV plans first emerged two months ago.

If the plans are approved, the children’s hospital centred at St Georges will be supported by extended community services and three sites with short stay beds for children.

The review also recommended that each hospital with an A&E should have a senior doctor present 14 hours a day. At present, all four SW London hospitals have children’s beds but do not meet the requirement for senior doctor presence.

Each hospital with an A&E should have a dedicated children’s A&E open 24/7. There will be beds located in each hospital with an A&E where most children can be assessed and treated.

Children will be able to stay at these units for up to 24 hours. However if a child is very unwell or they need to stay in hospital longer than one day then they will be transferred to the specialist Children’s Hospital at St George’s.

Under the recommendations St Helier Hospital is also set to lose its A&E therefore children would have to be admitted to A&E’s at other hospitals in SW London.

The final recommendation made by the review is that more care for children and young people should be provided at home and in community settings rather than hospital, meaning investment will be required in children’s community services.

The proposals will go in front of the joint boards of SW London PCTs in September for approval.

Public consultation on the closures is due to start on September 17.

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