As I indicated to you recently, The NHS has launched its formal consultation about the proposed new £400 million acute hospital, which it wants to build during the 2020s to serve our area. It has not formally decided where it wants to build the hospital, but is recommending that the final decision should be to have the new facility on the Sutton Hospital site next to the Royal Marsden.
I support the new investment, as there is no doubt that the existing services at both St Helier and Epsom are sited in buildings which are not going to be fit for the future. It’s clearly good for everyone who uses the NHS locally to have access to new facilities. The option of having a new hospital built on a site between Epsom and St Helier, and adjoining the Marsden, is clearly a strong option. But I believe that there is also a strong case for the investment to be Epsom and I am making that case to the NHS. The NHS accepts that all three sites can deliver the clinical benefits of the new investment. The Mole Valley MP, Sir Paul Beresford, and I are making the case for Epsom, but we need your views as well.
I think Epsom is the best site because:
- It is at the centre of the geographic area covered by the Epsom and St Helier Trust. The Trust’s area runs from the southern part of Merton in the north to Bookham in the south.
- It has much better transport links than the Sutton site, which is only accessible through narrow residential roads and has poorer public transport links.
- The NHS has failed to take into account the substantial house building programme expected in Surrey in the next few years. This will mean that there will be far more users of the hospital based in Surrey than at present.
And it’s cheaper to build!
Whatever happens, Epsom will retain much of its current work – and it will definitely not close. The services that would remain at Epsom would be all current outpatient and day case clinics and surgery, diagnostics, chemotherapy, inpatient care for less seriously ill patients, post- and ante-natal care, and planned orthopaedic surgery. There would also be an urgent treatment centre that would deal with about two thirds of current A&E attendances.
But I still believe Epsom to be the best option for the new investment in acute services. I hope you agree with me. If so please fill in the survey www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Epsomhospital so I can pass your views on to the NHS.