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Disappointing Health Care - MP asks, 'Is this the best we can do?'

October 12, 2006 2:32 PM

Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, expressed his concern today over the results in the Healthcare Commission's Annual Performance Ratings 2005/2006. Particularly worrying were the results for hospitals serving his constituents provided by the Epsom & St Helier University NHS Trust, as well as ratings for Sutton & Merton PCT and Southwest London & St George's Mental Health Trust.

St George's and Epsom & St Helier's were both rated 'fair' overall, with weak areas at St Helier's including medicines' management, services for children, and admissions management. St George's also failed its younger patients, it was rated a worrying 'failed' with regard to staffing and activity in its children's mental health department, a statistic that places it in the bottom quarter nationwide.

Tom talks to the BBC outside St Helier

Tom Brake is interviewed about health services at St Helier

St Helier also notched up a failure for its A&E waiting times , and scored fair for children's' healthcare in the areas of emergency and planned surgeries . Sutton and Merton PCT scored with the bottom fourth of the country on the counts of core standards, existing, and new national targets .

Tom Brake commented, 'This is bad news and things are like to get worse in the short-term not better with the Epsom and St Helier Trust seeking to save £20 million over the next two years and the Primary Care Trust seeking to save over £10 million. The Healthcare Commission does not paint a very reassuring picture of the health care available locally, especially for children. The Trusts all scored two or ones out of five for overall funding management, reflecting a long-term failure to get to grips with the funding of health services in South West London.'

Tom Brake, Paul Burstow and Siobhan McDonagh MPs will be meeting Patricia Hewitt next week to discuss the future of local hospitals and the Better Healthcare Closer to Home Project.

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