Emergency facility at Royal Marsden site would replace unit at St Helier
Daniel Elkeles at St Helier Hospital. Picture: ESTH Trust
An independent panel has given its backing to plans to build a new emergency hospital in Sutton.
In July Merton Council called for an independent review into the decision, which will see emergency units at St Helier and Epsom replaced with an emergency hospital on the same site as the Royal Marsden in Downs Lane.
And in October, health secretary Matt Hancock asked an Independent Reconfiguration Panel to do an initial assessment of the case.
The panel has now ruled that the plans are in the interest of local health services.
Daniel Elkeles, the chief executive of the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Trust said, “We are delighted that Mr Hancock has agreed that we should proceed with investing £500 million in a new hospital at Sutton, and in Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
“We are now proceeding at full speed to design the new hospitals and will soon be engaging with our local communities on the new hospital facilities.
“All being well we aim to have builders on site in Sutton in Spring 2022, with a new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital opening in 2025.”
But not everybody is happy about the latest update. Like Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, who described the decision as “bad news” for locals.
St Helier Hospital
She added, “We will continue to fight those plans because they are wrong, they affect the people who most need the hospital.”
And Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis said he is disappointed that the panel did not carry out a full review of the decision.
He said, “This does not change the fact that thousands of people in the most deprived parts of Merton will be adversely affected by the plans to close acute services at St Helier Hospital, including the accident and emergency department and the consultant-led maternity service.”
Tara O'Connor - Local Democracy Reporter
November 4, 2020