The results of a secret ballot sent out to Sutton's GPs by Tom Brake MP and Paul Burstow MP have shown that an overwhelming majority do not support the downgrading of the A&E and Maternity Units at St Helier. Not a single GP voted in favour of the downgrade.
The ballot was sent out in early November to all GPs in Sutton, asking if they were for or against the downgrading St Helier. Tens of thousands of people in the local community have also signed petitions against the downgrading.
Recently, the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review for St. Helier was delayed for a third time after the Surrey and South Downs CCG voted against the potential changes.
Sutton Council Leader Ruth Dombey said:
"This ballot confirms that Sutton GPs do not support Better Services Better Value review and it should be abandoned immediately. It would be a colossal waste of money to proceed with proposals that have no support from Sutton residents or Sutton GPs. Sutton Council is working hard with the hospital trust and the GPs to come up with alternative plans - they should leave us to get on with it."
Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, commented:
"Our local hospital needs investment not downgrading, and I'm delighted that Sutton's GPs share our concerns.
"We need to continue to fight these proposals to prevent deaths caused by the difficult journey to Tooting, not to mention babies born in cars. My children were born in St Helier and I would like thousands more children to be as well.
"I urge the people of Sutton to explain to their GPs how important these local services are and continue to fight against these poorly thought out proposals."
Commenting on the ballot results, MP for Sutton and Cheam Paul Burstow said:
"I'm pleased that Sutton's GPs have voted against these dangerous and flawed proposals. This is another nail in the coffin for BSBV.
"The Better Services Better Value review is still on the table awaiting another rewrite, but this result shows exactly what the doctors who will have to implement these plans think. I will continue campaigning against these proposals to downgrade our local hospital and persuade health bosses to change their views on this issue."