Our local doctors are meeting on the 17th to decide what to consult on with regard to the proposed closure of Epsom Hospital's A&E, maternity and children's units. It is a board meeting of the Clinical Commissioning Group in public, not a meeting where everyone can chip in, but a packed room at Epsom Racecourse from 1.30 pm onwards would be a helpful message if you can get there.
Chris Grayling MP says "After that there will be a lengthy period of consultation, before detailed planning can take place. Any agreement also has to be ratified at the top of the NHS. No final decisions will be taken until next year, and changes won't happen for another four to five years.
Needless to say, I am strongly opposed to this, and we will campaign vigorously against the plans. There is a long established Epsom Hospital campaign group which will wheel into action again.
Do bear in mind that this is the fourth time we have faced plans to downgrade Epsom since 2000, and there is no certainty that it will happen. This is the most serious to date though, as it is the doctors rather than the managers or the politicians who are driving this. Please do take advantage of any opportunity you have to tell your GP what you think.
If the meeting on the 17th decides to go along with the consultation, we will organise a whole series of protests and other activities over the coming weeks. I will provide you with an update on this shortly."