MP keeps heat on fight to save St Helier

January 13, 2014 2:36 PM

Local MP Tom Brake, who visited St Helier Hospital twice on Friday for an update on the hospital's performance in the morning and to be interviewed on Radio St Helier (the hospital radio) in the evening, has vowed to continue to fight tooth and nail to keep A&E, maternity and children's services at St Helier Hospital.

Tom promised to keep the heat on to save the hospital, despite the recent announcement of the end of the controversial Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review.

The unpopular proposals by Better Services Better Value (BSBV) to downgrade the hospital were put on ice in November when Surrey and South Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) voted against it, in a move which led to the exit of Epsom Hospital from the review. BSBV suffered a final blow last week when the remaining six south-west London Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) released a joint statement ruling the business case for the proposal was now invalid and dissolving the BSBV programme.

Commenting on his campaign, Tom Brake said: "The BSBV review was flawed and had absolutely no local support, so the announcement spelling the end of BSBV is most welcome news."

"Unfortunately the fight to save St Helier is by no means over. The challenges facing local NHS services did not go away when BSBV was binned and we can expect other proposals, intent on reorganising hospital services in south-west London to emerge."

"This is why in 2014, I will continue to spread the word about the campaign and show the strength of local feeling against any plans to downgrade our hospital. It helps to know that I have thousands of local residents behind me on this issue."

So far, with help from over 250 local residents, Tom Brake has delivered 10,000 campaign postcards, and collected over 13,000 petition signatures to save the hospital. In December, Tom also organised a 'Save St Helier' awareness day and with local Lib Dem Councillors and activists managed to collect over 900 signatures and deliver almost 2000 campaign posters in a single week. The MP also raised the issue of St Helier on the floor of the House of Commons during a debate on 19 December. To reach and involve in the campaign as many local residents as possible, Tom has also been using online and social media like Facebook and Twitter, with some of his Facebook posts reaching as many as 100,000 people.

Tom added: "Whatever new proposals come our way, axing the A&E, maternity and children's services from St Helier hospital is simply unacceptable. I will continue to stand up for local residents who look to St Helier Hospital for their emergency care."

To find out more about the campaign, or to sign the petition, please go to http://tombrake.co.uk/en/petition/save-st-helier-hospital-s-a-e-department-and-maternity-unit Tom Brake with local Councillors and residents campaigning to save St Helier Hospital

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