You may have seen us hitting the news headlines this week – specifically around our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new hospital and improve our current facilities.
Ensuring our patients receive the best possible care is our number-one priority. But right now, our hospitals are not fit for purpose for 21st century healthcare – which is why we must urgently progress these plans.
Some of our buildings pre-date the NHS itself. Wards are shut down because the foundations are sinking, lifts break down regularly, and areas of the hospital are flooded every winter.
Staff at Epsom and St Helier hospitals work tirelessly to ensure our patients receive safe and effective care, but it’s challenging in the current circumstances. We continue to invest significant capital funding on maintaining and updating the buildings, and continually adapt how we provide services to make best use of the estate we have now.
Our patients and our staff deserve better.
What are our plans?
We want 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.
Epsom and St Helier will remain as busy hospitals at the heart of their local communities – with significant and much-needed upgrades planned for both sites to allow them to focus on providing excellent outpatients, rehabilitation and diagnostic services, with 24/7 urgent treatment centres.
Meanwhile, the new hospital in Sutton will care for our sickest patients – whether that’s because they have a life-threatening illness or injury, or are having complex surgery – and bring together six major services.
What’s the latest?
We are waiting to hear of news from the national programme – and have made a strong case for more upfront investment so we can start to progress our plans and start building more quickly.
Currently, our new hospital won’t be ready until 2027 at the absolute earliest.
Every day we wait costs money, and each year we have to spend more and more on updating our old, dilapidated buildings – diverting scarce resources from the front line.
Epsom and St Helier in the media
Dr Ruth Charlton, our outgoing Chief Medical Officer, joined our Trust as a Consultant 25 years ago. She remembers our hospitals looking dilapidated even at the time she joined – and recalls the pledges for a new hospital, even back then.
Today, Dr Charlton is featured across BBC News’ channels, sharing her frustrations about the delays on BBC Breakfast and other BBC News bulletins, the Today programme, and on the BBC News website.
The BBC highlights some of the scenes it encountered when it joined us for filming earlier this month, from the closure of one of our intensive care units due to issues with ventilation, to a condemned ward where the foundations are sinking.
Meanwhile, over the weekend the Observer published an opinion piece by Dr Charlton. In this article, Dr Charlton talks about some of the common challenges we face – from flooding every winter, to lifts breaking down.
We’ve also seen local coverage on BBC Radio Surrey and MyLondon.
How can you get involved or find out more?
You can read more about our Building Your Future Hospital plans here – as well as the story so far.
We also talk about the plans in our new five-year Group strategy with St George’s, which you can read here.
Our People’s Panel gives members of the public the chance to have their say on local health services. You’ll also receive regular news and updates, and ways to get involved. If you would like to find out more, please visit our People’s Panel page on our website.
Finally, if you are an accredited journalist and would like to find out more about our plans, please email our Group Media Team on: firstname.lastname@example.org