Bosses recommend Croydon University Hospital keeps its services
Healthcare bosses have recommended A&E and maternity services remain at Croydon University Hospital.
At a meeting yesterday members of the Better Services Better Value review, set up to overhaul healthcare in south west London, recommended Sutton’s St Helier Hospital be stripped of its A7E and maternity wards.
In its place a planned care centre for non-emergency surgery will be built at the Carshalton-based hospital.
The board also recommended changes to child care in south west London with the sickest children and those requiring a longer hospital stay being sent to St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
Their recommendations will be considered by the joint boards of the South West London Primary Care Trusts on Thursday, September 27.
If they accept the recommendation public consultation will begin from October 1.
Dr David Finch, local GP and joint medical director for Better Services Better Value, said: “Whilst as a GP I am excited by the huge potential of the BSBV programme for saving lives and improving patient care, it is important to recognise that some people will be anxious about our proposals.
“I want to reassure those people that over 100 doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been involved in this programme and that we believe these changes will have huge clinical benefits for patients.
“I know that some people are worried that they may have to travel further for care. But treatment begins in the ambulance and the evidence strongly suggests that putting all of the best specialists in fewer units is much safer for patients.
"Travel times are important, but it’s much more important that you get to the right specialist team with the right equipment, even if that means a slightly longer journey.”
Croydon University Hospital was one of the medical centres up for review but was spared the cut.
The move could see extra pressure placed on existing services in Croydon, and it is expected up to £40 m of improvements will be made to CUH in the next four years to cope with the change.
Leader of Croydon Council Mike Fisher said: “This is very good news for Croydon.
“Although we shouldn’t take anything for granted, it is encouraging to see that the board has taken the needs of local people into consideration.
“We have been campaigning hard on behalf of residents to keep these vital services in the borough and we will continue to do so because decisions still have to be made, and closing either of those
units here or downgrading our hospital would put too great a strain on too many.
"This is also a vote of confidence in the hospital's new management team, who we fully support, and their plans for our hospital."