St Helier Hospital's renal services face major cuts
The jewel in St Helier’s crown, its renal services, faces major cuts along with units which treat hundreds of sick babies.
The Better Services Better Value Healthcare review has proposed that St Helier Hospital lose its accident and emergency, maternity and children’s ward.
However the full effects of these cuts are now emerging and the knock on effects, if the cuts come to pass, will mean the loss of its neonatal intensive care, intensive care for adults and some renal services.
The neonatal intensive care unit treats about 300 of the sickest babies each year and currently consists of 20 cots including four for intensive care.
The Better Services Better Value review predicts that there would be around 200 acute inpatient beds - currently there are 391.
Under BSBV’s proposals only renal dialysis will continue at the hospital but not renal medicine.
This would mean the loss of three wards and 47 beds. It would also reduce the number of outpatients they see which is currently 30,000 a year.
Richard Sammons, the chair of the South West Thames Institute for Renal Research which is based at St Helier said: "I think this highlights the lunacy of this whole process.
"Surrey doesn’t have any renal services.
"St George’s does transplants but I don’t think it meets the number of transplants it should in a year and it does not have space to expand its services.
"St Helier has got a network of eight satellite dialysis units that work really well and are well managed.
"The renal services for Surrey and South West London will fall apart as there is nowhere to put it apart from St Helier.
"There is a general growth in services and if they close these facilities we are going to be so short of facilities."
He said although the cut backs in services now will make big savings in the short term he warned that in the long term and the demand for services will end of costing a lot more.
A spokesman for Better Services Better Value said: "If the proposals go ahead, the hospital would not provide maternity services, so would not provide neonatal intensive care.
"It would provide a high dependency unit for adults treated in the planned care centre, but not an intensive care unit, as this would require the back-up needed by emergency care.
"We would anticipate renal dialysis continuing at the hospital, but not renal medicine.
"Current projections are for around 200 acute inpatient beds, including the planned care centre."
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