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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Statement from Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust

Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust is reassuring residents tonight that it will not be placed into administration.

The news follows the announcement that Ashford and St Peter's had withdrawn its merger proposal with Epsom due to financial reasons. St Helier's merger with St George's in Tooting is also off.

The below is a statement from the hospital trust.

Since the announcement was made that the merger of Epsom Hospital with Ashford and St Peter’s was halted, we have been working closely with our local clinical commissioning groups, NHS partners and stakeholders to discuss and agree our next steps for the future of Epsom, Sutton and St Helier hospitals.

However, entering the unsustainable provider regime is not something that we, our strategic health authority NHS London, the NHS Trust Development Authority or the Department of Health are currently considering.

Crucially, 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.

What is the unsuitable provider regime?

As the debts accumulated by the trust are thought to be around the £19m mark, it could be placed into the hands of a special administrator, following in the footsteps of South London Healthcare NHS Trust.

This means an administrator will try and put it on a ''viable footing''

He or she will take over the board and recommend measures to the Health Secretary to put the trust's finances on a sustainable basis.

Why does the trust have to be split and merged?

Under Government rules, by 2014 every NHS trust must attain so called foundation status

This is something Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust could not afford to do alone.

Its best chance was to split and find other hospitals to merge with.

1} NHS Foundation Trusts have more freedom to decide how to run their affairs and deliver services.

2} Foundation Trusts are membership organisations free from central government control.

3} There is an independent regulator called a Monitor to protect the public interest.

4} If Foundation Trusts make a surplus they can invest this in services.

5} Foundation Trusts also have more freedom to borrow for capital projects like new buildings.

6} Foundation Trusts have to deliver on national targets and standards like the rest of the NHS, but they are free to decide how they achieve this.

Only last month, Epsom's MP Chris Grayling told Jackie News that he felt a merger with Ashford and St Peter's was Epsom's best hope.

In the summer, a Save St Helier Services funday was held in the grounds of the hospital in Wrythe Lane. Jackie's reporter Lucy Mayer spoke to many supporters, including Unison's Geoff Martin, pictured above centre.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 9:06 pm  

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