Clinicians support most care being provided locally at Epsom and St Helier hospitals and confirm that the new specialist emergency care hospital in Sutton is the best option for patients.
The new specialist emergency care hospital should be built at Sutton as it provides the best option for patients and residents, according to leading doctors, nurses and health professionals from Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
Sutton is one of three options currently out for consultation as part of plans to invest £500 million in improving both Epsom and St Helier hospitals. The proposals will mean that 85% of patients will still be able to receive the care they need from both Epsom and St Helier hospitals but in improved buildings. This includes keeping outpatients, MRI scans, endoscopy, inpatient rehabilitation beds, urgent treatment centres, renal dialysis and eye care local as well as South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre remaining at Epsom. For the most unwell patients, those who need more specialist care, and births in hospital, care would be provided on one site in new state-of-the-art buildings. This would mean that specialist doctors, nurses and clinical staff would be able to work together to provide round-the-clock specialist care.
In an open letter published this week, the 85 members of the clinical and operational leadership team of Epsom and St Helier hospitals supported the preferred option for the new specialist emergency care hospital to be built at Sutton. The reasons given include:
- providing access to more urgent treatment centres open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,
- smallest increase in average travel times as Sutton is the most central to where people live,
- located with The Royal Marsden it would improve care for Epsom and St Helier cancer patients, and
- it is the easiest and quickest to build.
The letter also highlighted the benefits to local residents, saying:
"We support bringing together specialist staff across both hospitals into one larger team to care for our sickest patients in the specialist emergency care hospital and to support local care in our district sites.
"This is essential as we do not have enough specialist staff in key services such as A&E and emergency medicine. When you are seriously ill and come into hospital we want you to be treated by the most senior doctors, consultants, in the evenings and at weekends.”
These senior hospital staff also provided reassurance to local people that if the new hospital was built at Sutton, that most of the services will stay put in their nearest hospital:
"In all of the proposals under consultation, 85% of patients will continue to receive the care as they do now, from their local hospital in refurbished buildings."
You can read the full letter here: Letter from the Trust Executive Committee (TEC) [pdf] 445KB.
In addition, 273 consultants have signed a letter giving their support to the proposals to create a specialist emergency care hospital. You can read the full letter here: Letter from senior clinicians at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust [pdf] 167KB.