The results of the Epsom and St Helier 2020-2030 engagement campaign are published today (Friday 10 November), after more than 25,000 people joined the conversation about the long term future of the Trust’s healthcare services.
The findings show that the potential scenario of consolidating acute care in a new, purpose-built facility on any one of the Trust’s hospital sites (representing 15% of the current care provided by the Trust) is widely supported by those who gave their views. 79.8% of those who responded to the engagement questionnaire supported this scenario.
The Trust has also published the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for Epsom and St Helier 2020 – 2030 today, which details how creating a brand new acute facility would allow the Trust to further improve patient care and achieve all the additional clinical quality standards we are required to meet, including round-the-clock seven days a week consultant cover for our sickest patients.
The SOC, building on the scenarios put forward in the engagement material, also includes an indicative financial analysis of three potential future scenarios (a new acute specialist facility at Epsom Hospital, at St Helier Hospital, or co-located with The Royal Marsden at Sutton Hospital).
The SOC shows that a move to a consolidated acute facility on one site would result in a minimum £36 million reduction in the Trust’s annual deficit. A preliminary estimate of capital investment required to deliver the facility ranges between £377 million and £444 million, depending on site.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to share the findings of our engagement campaign, as well as further analysis and detail of the potential scenarios in our SOC.
“Over the course of the engagement campaign, thousands of people gave up their time to find out about more about our long term future and have their say, and we are truly grateful to each and every one of you – whether you were one of the 5,000 people who joined us at a public meeting, one of the 6,000 who watched our video, or were one of the 1,000 to fill in our questionnaire – a huge thank you. You will help to shape the future of the local NHS, and have allowed us to get to the next step of this process: publishing our SOC.”
The Trust will now submit the Strategic Outline Case to its regulator, NHS Improvement. They will consider all of the information, and following this, will decide if the process can move to the next stage and develop a full business case. The strategic outline case will be sent to Surrey Downs, Sutton, and Merton clinical commissioning groups for their consideration and as input to the South West London sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) and to the Surrey Heartlands STP.
The Trust will support the work of its commissioners as they evaluate the relative merits of the different scenarios and other approaches to secure clinically and financially sustainable services, taking into account the needs of local residents across the areas served by the Trust. This will include a timeline for further work required that enables the local system to reach a shared view on the options that the public will be formally consulted on.
A copy of the engagement document and Strategic Outline Case is available on the Trust’s website at www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk. Or alternatively email: email@example.com to request copies.
As many local people will be aware, in July, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust published an engagement document that set out possible scenarios for the future of the Trust beyond 2020. Named ‘Providing high quality healthcare services 2020 to 2030’, it built on engagement work launched in 2015 and was based on the feedback of more than 600 hundred local residents, as well as staff at the hospitals
Daniel said: “Our staff go above and beyond to provide great care for local people, and we have a huge amount to be proud of. But the sad fact is, because of our ageing buildings and the challenges we face in funding and staffing duplicate services at two different sites, we know that we cannot carry on as we are forever.
“That’s exactly why we launched the Epsom and St Helier 2020-2030 engagement campaign – we wanted to find out what our local communities and our staff want from their local healthcare services in the future, and how we could set out a long term vision that would support that.
“I would like to stress that no decisions have been made, and there’s still a lot of work to do. That said, we have heard very clearly that local people want to keep services local and so we propose that 85% of people will continue to access services as they do now. It is only when someone is acutely unwell or at risk of becoming acutely unwell that they would be treated in a specialist purpose-built facility which could be located on any one of our three sites. We also know that our clinicians want to continue to deliver as much healthcare as possible for the majority of patients locally.
“We have also heard, loud and clear, that Epsom and St Helier hospitals are a valued and vital part of the local communities, and we take a lot of pride in that. However, we have got to be transparent about the fact that we cannot carry on as we are for the long term future – more than 40% of our ageing buildings have been deemed unsuitable for delivering 21st century healthcare, and that is only set to get worse. In six months’ time, St Helier will be 80 years old and Epsom is not far behind.
“In addition, we know that because our workforce is split across two sites, we will not be able to meet the new quality standards for delivering seven day healthcare services for our sickest patients in the future, and our financial deficit will continue to grow. These are all reasons why our senior clinical leaders have been working on model which will secure the delivery of high quality services locally for the long term.”