The London Assembly has called on the Mayor of London to lobby the Government to protect accident and emergency A&E departments across the capital, including at St Helier Hospital.

A motion was passed by the assembly after concerns were raised by members at plans to close A&Es across London and the affect it could have on emergency hospital care.

St Helier Hospital was specifically mentioned by a number of speakers including Londonwide assembly member Fiona Twycross and Sutton and Croydon assembly member Steve O’Connell.

Miss Twycross said: "Proposed closures at St Helier show how short sighted the closures are."

Warning the number of anticipated visitors in the next four years could rise from 80,000 to 90,000 per year, she the closure would mean rises in admissions of between 32 and 39 per cent at St George’s, Kingston, and Croydon University hospitals.

She said: "It’s not clear to me how this could do anything other than affect waiting times."

She said medical studies showed survival rates went down with the time it took patients to be seen.

A study showed other hospitals in the region would need to expand by 300 beds, she warned, putting pressure on the ambulance service, and leaving the whole hospital vulnerable to closure.

Mr O’Connell said he did not believe the A&E should be lost in a deprived area such as St Helier, and families should have to travel further for emergency treatment.

He said clearly the NHS had to make its share of budget savings but this should be in back office staff.

He said the NHS’s actions were because of a lack of democratic accountability within health services nationally and in London.

He said: "Health minister and Sutton MP Paul Burstow must deliver St Helier from the chopping block., and I trust his influence in the coalition Government to do that."

The NHS Better  Service’s Better Value review says better quality emergency care can be delivered overall across SW London by St Helier losing it’s A&E, maternity, and children’s wards.

It insists it would not put the hospital at risk because it would become the centre for planned surgery across the region.

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