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Thursday, 9 May 2013

UPDATED 2.25PM: Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group votes to allow consultation about closure of A+E and maternity at St Helier to proceed despite mass opposition. #saveoursthelier

GPs met this lunchtime to decide on the future of St Helier hospital.

The widely criticised Better Services Better Value review proposes shutting St Helier’s A&E and maternity departments, despite mass public outcry.

There are seven Clinical Commissioning Groups affected by the proposals.

They must all meet separately and decide unanimously on whether to open up a public consultation. Delegates from each group will then meet on June the 3rd to reveal their decisions.

Epsom's CCG meets on May the 17th at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

Today's meeting was so full, some had to wait outside St Bedes conference centre in North Cheam. Organisers apologised for this.

Inside, the BSBV team was heckled, after members tried to make a case for cuts at the site. But despite this, doctors still voted to allow the controversial public consultation.

Yesterday, all 23 of Sutton’s GP practices voted on whether they thought BSBV should go to consultation. 95 GPs said yes, 59 said no and there were 22 abstentions.

At today's meeting, Carshalton's MP Tom Brake handed in a 35,000 strong petition against the plans to Sutton CCG Chairman Brendan Hudson.

Speaking to us before the meeting, Mr Brake said he'd hoped Sutton CCG would do the right thing.

Afterwards, Sutton CCG released a statement defending their decision - this is part of it;

This decision does not mean we will simply accept whatever the BSBV programme proposes. If the public consultation goes ahead, Sutton CCG will be asking the BSBV programme to do further work on the impact of the options, and more detailed work on the proposal to have more out of hospital services in local settings. We recognise that this is an area of concern for many people, which was reinforced by the views expressed by members of the public at today's meeting. This needs to be addressed.

Patients are being told today's move is not the end. If a public consultation does go ahead, residents must lobby their GPs and tell them the are against the plans.

MP for Sutton and Cheam Paul Burstow says now the public will have their say. I haven't met anyone who thinks closing St Helier's A&E or maternity units is the right thing to do.

Follow the debate online #saveoursthelier
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 1:18 pm  

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