Better Services Better Value Review - The future of A&E and maternity services at St Helier

May 11, 2012 2:08 PM

I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you about reports you may have seen in the media over the past few days in relation to the future of St Helier Hospital's A&E department and maternity unit.

The Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review has recommended changing the shape of future health services in South West London. This review was carried out by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with the aim of finding ways to help the local NHS cope with growing demand and improve health services in four hospitals across the area: St George's in Tooting, Kingston, Croydon University Hospital and St Helier here in Sutton.

The review recommends the closure of one A&E department and one maternity unit in South West London, establishing a new world class planned care centre for elective surgery and increasing services within the community. For more detailed information about the BSBV review and the proposed changes see here - http://tombrake.co.uk/en/page/better-services-better-value-review-the-future-of-a-e-and-maternity-services

Most recently a BSBV panel (made up of members of the public, doctors, nurses and local authorities) met to score and rank options. The panel decided that the best option was for the A&E and maternity unit at St Helier Hospital to close and for St Helier to become a centre of excellence for elective surgery.

It is important to remember that this is not the final decision yet, but just one input to a lengthy process about the future of local services. Mr Michael Bailey, senior hospital surgeon and Acute Medical Director for BSBV, has said that no decisions will be made without the views of local people being considered in full.

I want to hold him to this promise and I am launching a petition to represent the views of local people who want to keep the A&E and maternity units at St Helier. You can sign the petition here - http://tombrake.co.uk/en/petition/save-st-helier-hospital-s-a-e-department-and-maternity-unit.

Despite the reasons put forward by the BSBV review for the changes, I believe that our A&E and maternity unit at St Helier play a vital role in our community. The demand for A&E has been increasing in recent years and there is a spurt in the number of births locally.

For more than a decade, our local community has campaigned to save St Helier hospital when it has faced various threats. Now it is vital that our community joins together again to make sure that the BSBV listen to local people who want to keep our A&E and maternity units at St Helier.

What would you like to do next?