Building Your Future Hospitals
We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a brand new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Sutton, and also significantly improve Epsom and St Helier hospitals, where 85% of people will still be seen and treated.
The Building Your Future Hospitals programme represents the biggest investment in healthcare in the region for a generation.
It will transform Epsom and St Helier hospitals and ensure that local people can access the care they need – from urgent care to outpatient appointments, and much more – in facilities that are fit for purpose. In addition, a brand new hospital will be built on the old Sutton Hospital site (directly next to the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research).
This is an incredible development and will mean that Epsom, St Helier, and the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital will be here to care for you and your families for generations to come.
Why is this so important
- We have old, crumbling buildings – especially at St Helier where over 90% of the buildings are older than the NHS itself - they are not fit for modern healthcare and they hamper the level of care our staff can provide. This has been further emphasised by the pandemic.
- Our staff run duplicate services across two sites, which means our workforce is stretched and we need to strengthen staffing.
- A new, purpose-built hospital will enable us to improve the quality of services we provide to local communities, and ensure our sickest patients get faster access to care and treatment through bigger teams of specialist staff.
- Transforming our facilities is so important for improving the quality of care we are able to provide to patients, but also to improve the way our doctors, nurses and staff work day-to-day.
Where we are now
On 25 May 2023, the government announced the next phase of the national New Hospital Programme and reaffirmed its commitment to our Building Your Future Hospitals Programme.
In his address to parliament, The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay said our Building Your Future Hospitals programme will “now proceed and be fully funded” and will be completed by 2030.
The announcement also included confirmation that we could progress with enabling works, and we have already started to relocate services off the site to ensure the land is clear and ready for building works to commence.
You can read more about this announcement in our news story Parliament promises local people new hospital.
More information and next steps
Want to get involved and have your say as our plans progress? Join our People's Panel - we will send you news and updates about the Trust and our services, and to invite you to get involved and have your say on the work we do – this may be through surveys and focus groups, online and in person meetings and events, and more.
We have been given the go ahead to build a brand new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Sutton and redevelop Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
The new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital is where our sickest patients will be cared for. This may be because they have a life-threatening illness or injury, or it could be because they are having complex surgery. It also includes births in hospital, so we have consultants available 24/7 to help if needed.
The Specialist Emergency Care Hospital brings together six major services. This means clinical expertise, experience and resource will be in one place 24/7.
The six services are:
- Major emergency department for the most serious accidents and illnesses
- Acute medicine for patients with the most urgent medical need
- Emergency surgery for conditions like appendicitis
- Critical care for intensive monitoring, usually in an intensive care unit
- Paediatric care with specialist children’s doctors and inpatient beds
- Births, with the midwife-led unit and consultant-led unit for more complicated births.
However, the majority of our patients – 85% of the people who need care with us – will still be seen and treated at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, this will include:
- 24 hour urgent treatment centres (UTCs) for people with urgent minor injuries and illnesses
- Outpatient services
- Day case surgery under general anaesthetic (St Helier)
- Day case surgery requiring local regional anaesthesia (Epsom)
- Low risk antenatal and postnatal appointments
- Paediatric outpatients and community paediatrics
- Renal outpatients
- Haemodialysis (St Helier)
- Radiology, including CT, X-ray, MRI, ultrasound and fluoroscopy
- And more.
Our plans for Epsom and St Helier hospitals
The future of Epsom and St Helier as district hospitals is bright, and both sites will remain as busy health care services at the heart of their local communities. Once the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital opens and the six core services have moved to Sutton, the reconfiguration of Epsom and St Helier will get underway.
Over the next five years, our capital improvement programme will maintain both Epsom and St Helier and make improvements where possible. We know that we cannot stand still, and as both hospitals will remain as busy district hospitals, investing in improving facilities and equipment makes perfect sense.
In the meantime, a number of improvements are already planned at Epsom, including:
Prior to 2025:
- Complete refurbishment of Wells Wing (our main ward block)
- Refurbishment and extension of Langley Wing (currently underway)
- SWLEOC - 6th theatre for more planned surgery (completed)
- Multi-storey car park
After the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital opens:
- New main entrance
- Co-location of diagnostics with outpatients
- Changes to ward layout.
St Helier Hospital
Prior to 2025
- Build new pathology centre
- Create a new building for the onsite nursery
- New main entrance
- New multi-storey car park
- Major changes to A-D block
- Capacity preserved for further day surgery expansion in future.
Urgent and emergency care
Both Epsom and St Helier hospitals will have urgent treatment centres (UTCs) which will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for assessment and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries requiring urgent treatment. Patients who are seriously ill or injured will be seen at the Emergency Department at the new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Sutton. There will also be a 24 hour UTC at the SECH.
The story so far
Work to secure this once-in-a-lifetime funding for the future of our hospitals has been going on for years – including our extensive engagement programme Epsom and St Helier 2020 - 2030 and the Improving Healthcare Together public consultation (opens in a new window), which involved tens of thousands of people. All of this background information, and prior consultation materials, are online and remain publicly available on Epsom and St Helier 2020 - 2030 and www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk (opens in a new window).
Epsom and St Helier undertook a comprehensive review of services, resulting in the publication of our long-term estates strategy.
We launched a comprehensive engagement programme (known as Epsom and St Helier 2020-2030) and began work on our Outline Business Case.
January – April 2020
Improving Healthcare Together held a comprehensive consultation with the community, stakeholders and our staff on proposals to improve patient care for generations to come, with some changes to hospital services in the area.
In July 2020, a joint decision by NHS Surrey Downs and NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group approved the proposed new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (SECH) on the Sutton Hospital site.
Responsibility for delivering the programme was transferred to Epsom and St Helier hospitals as the Building Your Future Hospitals programme.
Decision ratified by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
We shared our intial designs for the new hospital in Sutton with local people, staff and other stakeholders for feedback.