Sally Bercow speaks out about St Helier Hospital
The outspoken wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sally Bercow, has expressed her concerns for St Helier Hospital’s future.
Mrs Bercow’s father, Ronald Illman, died when she was 16 years old in 1986 after he was diagnosed with kidney failure.
However thanks to the staff at St Helier Hospital, Mr Illman, a builder’s merchant from Sutton, was given three extra years to spend time with his family.
Mrs Bercow, 42, said: “I hate the idea the services of St Helier being decimated. You need a local A&E and maternity.
“It was more than 25 years ago my father was diagnosed with kidney failure.
“The amazing renal unit decided to give him kidney dialysis.
“We are incredibly grateful for that. He was fast approaching 70. They were amazing.
“He was an old candidate but because he had a young family they prolonged his life.
“I have many childhood memories of going to that hospital.
“It gave him a few extra years of life and as far as I’m concerned that hospital’s absolutely amazing.”
The mother-of-three expressed how wrong she felt the recommendations to close St Helier’s vital services were and said local people were lucky they had people like Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden campaigning to stop the cuts.
Early in May a scoring panel on behalf of the Better Service, Better Value healthcare review, recommended that St Helier Hospital lose its Accident and Emergency and maternity departments.
The programme board has also accepted the recommendation that children's wards at three SW London hospitals close and a specialist inpatient childrens’ ward should be at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
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