Tom Brake MP asks the P.M. about St Helier Hospital’s Future ….

Dear Hamish Pollock

I am writing to you with some interesting news as you have previously expressed concern about the future of St Helier Hospital.

Last week, during Prime Minister’s Questions, I directly challenged the Chancellor, George Osborne (who was standing in for the Prime Minister), on whether the previously promised £219million was still available for St. Helier Hospital.

I am delighted that the Chancellor George Osborne promised that the Government would allocate £219 million to save St. Helier Hospital as long as the hospital “continues to represent value for money.” He said he thinks the hospital is performing well now.  I am very pleased that he recognises the good performance of the hospital.

I intend to hold the Chancellor to his promise. Our community deserves convenient access to essential healthcare services from a quality hospital like St. Helier. George Osborne and the Conservative government must now deliver it.

Regards

Tom Brake
Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington
0208 255 81550208 255 8155

PS. Have you signed the petition to Save St Helier Hospital? Thousands of local people have already signed – click here to sign the petition or visit www.saveoursthelier.co.uk for more information.

St Helier News

A poster that says it all really
A poster that says it all really

The following is lifted from the Sutton Borough Guardian on-line newspaper:-

A healthcare review which has cost taxpayers millions of pounds and made no significant changes to healthcare over the last three years has finally been scrapped.An announcement from the six Clinical Commissioning Groups in south west London, this morning, said they now want to develop a new five year strategy for local health services rather than continue with their Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review.

Over the last three years St Helier Hospital has been hampered by BSBV which has twice threatened to axe its A&E, maternity and children’s services.

The failed healthcare review has cost taxpayers a staggering £8.2m over three years even though none of its proposals were implemented.

A consequence of the review was revealed earlier this month when it emerged the £219m redevelopment of St Helier Hospital was unlikely to go ahead due to the uncertainty it had faced under BSBV.

A statement from BSBV said: “We do not propose to continue with our BSBV programme or to consult on the options that emerged from it, which have now been withdrawn.

“The next step will be for us to discuss our new approach with our boards and with local provider trusts and seek their support for it. We plan to announce our five-year strategy in June 2014.”

A statement from the Epsom and St Helier trust revealed they will remove the giant banner which adorns the front of the hospital stating that the £219m redevelopment is ‘coming soon’.

 

The chief executive of St Helier Hospital, Matthew Hopkins, said: “It has been a long road for us, which involved times of uncertainty for the future of our services, our patients and our staff. I’d like to thank our staff and volunteers who throughout this time have kept their focus on the day job and have continued to provide high quality care to our patients.

“We are absolutely committed to working with our clinical commissioning groups in further improving healthcare in the region.

“Patients should be assured that the broad range of outpatient, day case and inpatient services remain available at our two main sites.

“Just like all other NHS trusts across the country, we are developing a business plan for the future of our hospitals and services (including long-term financial modelling), which provides details of how we will continue to provide high quality care in an affordable, efficient way.”

The hospital will be working with commissioners over the coming months to develop their five year strategy.

 

St. Helier Named Best in the Nation

The hip fracture clinic at St. Helier hospital has been named the best in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This valuable clinic would be lost if St.Helier’s A&E services were cut. The National Hip Fracture Database Report 2013, which measured 180 clinics across the country, found that:

·         The time it takes for a patient at St Helier to go to surgery following admission has reduced from 47 hours in 2010 to 19.8 hours in 2013, against a national average of 31.7 hours.  This makes the Trust the third highest achieving in the country for the percentage of patients operated on the day of or day after admission.

·         99% of patients receive a bone health and falls risk assessment before being discharged, ensuring that they will be better able to cope at home and reducing the chance of a similar injury occurring again.  That’s against a national average of 93% and 92% respectively.

·          89% of patients were assessed by an orthogeriatrican (a medical specialist skilled in the care of elderly patients who have a fracture) before they go in for surgery (the national average is 43%).

·         93.5% of patients have surgery within 48 hours of coming to hospital (against an average of 53%).

St. Helier is doing a fantastic job and this shows we have to do all we can to protect our outstanding local hospital. Sign the petition at http://bit.ly/15cZJMf

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NHS celebrates 65th Birthday

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake recently congratulated Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) on reaching its 65th Birthday. Tom said: “The NHS is one of Britain’s greatest achievements and one of our country’s most valued and valuable institutions. I would like to say ‘thank you’ to the thousands of staff who have nurtured the health of the nation over the last 65 years. Long may it continue.”

“We are fortunate in Carshalton and Wallington in having the St Helier Hospital, but with A&E and maternity services currently under threat, we certainly don’t take our NHS for granted.”

“Today more than ever people depend on it throughout their lives. The Liberal Democrats in government are committed to protecting an NHS that is free for all, and which continues to adapt itself to the changing needs of modern Britain.”

5 July 2013 marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. Across the UK health professionals are celebrating the NHS’ birthday. Local residents have been getting in touch with their MP Tom Brake to wish the NHS a happy birthday. Messages from constituents saying how much they value NHS wereput on a giant birthday card that the MP presented to St Helier Hospital staff .

St. Helier Hospital – Update from Tom Brake MP

Aerial Shot of St. Helier Hospital

Aerial Shot of St. Helier Hospital

We received a message recently from Tom Brake MP for the constituency of Carshalton & Wallington.

Dear Friend,
 
Yesterday it was announced that the healthcare review that recommended that A&E and maternity services should be axed at St Helier hospital has been delayed due to concerns about the financial viability of the proposals.

Local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS London were due to meet later this month to vote on whether the proposals to downgrade our local hospital should go to public consultation. This decision will now be taken after the summer.

I have always been clear that the review that has recommended that St Helier Hospital be downgraded is completely flawed. The review is based upon incomplete data, incorrect travel times and relies upon alternative health services that don’t even exist.

Already more than 10,000 people have signed my petition to keep open St Helier Hospital’s A&E department and maternity unit, but we need to get more signatures – so that we can demonstrate the strength of the local opposition to these proposals.

But I need your help – can you deliver a few leaflets about the Save Our St Helier campaign in your local area to encourage others to sign the petition?

If so, just click here to send me your details and someone from the Save Our St Helier team will be in touch.

Together we can fight for the future of our hospital.   

Best Wishes
 
Tom Brake MP
Liberal Democrat for Carshalton and Wallington

PS: You can also download a hard copy of the petition by clicking here
 

St. Helier Hospital – Letter from Tom Brake MP of 9th May 2013

Dear friend,

On Thursday 9th May 2013, local GPs and other clinicians met to discuss the future of St Helier Hospital and the proposals put forward by the Better Service Better Value (BSBV) review. Very disappointingly, the Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group has accepted the three proposals recommended by the BSBV review.
 
This is despite the clear opposition to these proposals that local campaigners and I presented to the meeting.
 
The decision means that St Helier is at risk of becoming a “local hospital”, losing its A&E and maternity units and Epsom is also potentially losing its frontline services, becoming a centre for elective care.
 
The second option, but less preferred by BSBV is Epsom becoming the local hospital with St Helier becoming the centre for elective care. The third option is St Helier continuing as an acute hospital with Epsom becoming the centre for elective care and Croydon University Hospital becoming the most downgraded.
 
But this is not a done deal.
 
These recommendations still need to be approved by the other Clinical Commissioning Groups in South West London before they will be subject to a public consultation.
 
I can assure you that I will continue to fight tooth and nail for the future of our local hospital. Over the next few days and weeks, I will be working with other local campaigners to plan how we can make sure the voice of the local community is heard.
 
We will be taking our campaign to the next level to ensure that NHS bosses can be in no doubt – we want to Save Our St Helier!  
 
In the meantime, make sure you have signed the petition in support of our hospital and encourage others to do so too. You can also show your support for St Helier by commenting on and sharing this facebook post.
 
Finally, if you want to know why these proposals are wrong for our local area and to find out more about the campaign, visit www.saveoursthelier.co.uk.   
 
By working together we can save our local hospital.
 
Tom Brake MP
Liberal Democrat for Carshalton and Wallington

PS: Make sure you have also signed the ‘Save Our St Helier’ Petition by clicking here.

Published and promoted by Sutton Lib Dems on behalf of Tom Brake MP, Room 2 Kennedy House, 5 Nightingale Road, Carshalton SM5 2DN.

St Helier Services/National Health Service Update

You may have heard more about Kingston Hospital’s very “kind” offer to take over the management of the SW London Elective Orthopaedic Centre from St. Helier Hospital, Carshalton.  There are some issues with it…. we’re told that Sutton borough councillors will be questioning the health authorities about it when they get the chance to do so.

1. The offer is not “patient-focused”, it is about NHS managers playing at politics with peoples’ health.

2. Kingston Hospital (with support from Croydon and St George’s Hospitals) are trying to do this whilst the future of Epsom and St. Helier is uncertain.

3. Kingston Hospital wants the EOC (Elective Orthopaedic Centre) on their books to help their Foundation Trust application (it’s worth £30 million per annum).

4. Kingston Hospital wants the reputational benefit of the EOC.

5. Kingston, Croydon and St George’s hospitals are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut in relation to questions about how service level agreements between the EOC and Epsom Hospital are agreed and implemented.

6. NHS Managers are using Tax Payers’ money to fund what is little more than an internal hostile takeover bid.

NHS managers are accountable to no one, other than other more senior NHS Managers, which is why we think their plan really needs some rethinking!

You can read more by clicking on the link below:-

http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/10067427.Leak_reveals_Epsom_and_St_Helier_Hospital_Trust_faces_handing_over_services_to_Kingston/

Local Hospitals Trust Merger Abandoned

St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust have decided that they cannot proceed with their bid to merge with St Helier and Sutton Hospitals.

St Helier Hospital

However, due to the financial challenges facing hospitals in south west London and the inability to pre-empt the outcome of the Better Services Better Value review, which is looking at how NHS services are provided across south west London, they do not feel able to proceed at this time. This is because the review, which will be open to public consultation, could have a significant impact on the financial income of all hospitals involved.

St George’s Hospital have however expressed a full commitment to working closely with St Helier and Sutton Hospitals in the future.  Jan Sawkins is the Independent Chair of the special Board set up to help St Helier, Sutton and Epsom hospitals to achieve foundation trust status. She said: “Whilst we have always been aware that a bidder could withdraw during the process, at this stage in the transaction it is obviously very disappointing news.

“The Transaction Board has a meeting scheduled (7 February 2012) and we will use this to consider the options and agree a way forward. This may include re-opening tenders for St Helier and Sutton hospitals.”

Matthew Hopkins, Trust Chief Executive said: “This is disappointing news, but St George’s have been clear to us that their decision is not based on our staff, nor the quality of the services we provide at St Helier and Sutton hospitals.

“As you would expect, the Trust Board and those working on the transaction have been looking at other options in case this happened and we look forward to discussing these with the Transaction Board next week. Whilst we are making decisions about the long-term future of our hospitals, our priority will – as ever – continue to be ensuring our patients and local people receive the very best services.”

Asked what this means for Epsom Hospital, Jan added: “It is the current belief that, subject to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust being confirmed as the Preferred Partner for Epsom Hospital, the de-merger could continue whilst we make alternative arrangements for St Helier and Sutton.

“Whilst this would, of course, need further investigation and approval by the Transaction Board, the Trust Board and others, it is felt that this would be in the best interest of Epsom Hospital, its patients, staff and local people. However, I would emphasise that the priority remains to secure the future of Epsom, St Helier and Sutton hospit

A View of St Helier

Hamish reports: “Here’s what I think of as an impressive view taken from the flats at Relko Gardens, Sutton Grove over the weekend of St. Helier Hospital like a great battleship over the huge sea of houses in northern Carshalton and Sutton.  So many residents living in our area obviously were born there or have connections there.”

St. Helier Hospital from Relko Gardens