Seeking Guarantees About St Helier Future

February 8, 2012 4:54 PM

I have sought assurances from the Prime Minister, David Cameron over the future of St Helier Hospital in Carshalton.

I took the opportunity to raise the issue directly with the Prime Minister in Parliament after it was announced last Monday that the St George's Trust had withdrawn from a proposed merger with the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. Long running negotiations over the merger had been ongoing, but St George's decision to pull out of the process has now left St Helier in a vulnerable position.

I asked the David Cameron whether he would guarantee that the Trust would be allowed the time and money it needs to allow for the development of the hospital and associated care centres.

I have since received a response from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury who assures me that the funding - £219million - remains in place. This is positive news, however, there is still much to be done and I will be working with medical, community and voluntary sector partners to find an acceptable way forward.

Here in Sutton we have fought long and hard to secure the future of our local hospital, and now is no different. We need to focus urgently on all the alternatives available to us, which could involve close cooperation between Trust, GPs and Sutton Council.

Jan Sawkins, Chair of the Board set up to help St Helier, Sutton and Epsom hospitals to achieve foundation trust status, has stated:

"Whilst we are making decisions about the long-term future of the our hospitals our priority will - as ever - continue to be ensuring our patients and local people receive the very best services."

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