Fears closure of St Helier's A&E could threaten survival rates
A report has raised fears of patient survival if plans to axe St Helier Hospital’s accident and emergency department go ahead.
The survey carried out by health pressure group, Sutton Link, reveals that the majority of its members, who represent the views of local people, have serious concerns about proposals to cut St Helier’s vital services.
As part of a healthcare review, Better Services Better Value, it was recommended that St Helier Hospital should lose its accident and emergency (A&E), maternity, and children's ward.
Some 105 Sutton Link members organisations and individuals took part in the recent survey.
For most respondents the proximity to home and A&E services are the most important factors about St Helier.
Almost all respondents want to retain a 24 hour A&E and significant fears were raised that the loss of A&E will cause stress for patients and families as well as threatening survival rates.
73 per cent of respondents want to keep maternity and paediatric services.
The survey also raised a number of issues including the vulnerable and elderly travelling further for care, overloaded hospitals, delays, staff pressure and reduced standards of care.
A number of respondents feared that services would not be set up in time to replace what is lost.
In May a panel of 60 parties from each SW London hospital, local authority members and communities, including Sutton Link, scored each hospital as part of the decision into which should lose its vital services.
The manager of Sutton Link, Janice McCullock, said they decided to carry out the survey because the vote took place before they had the opportunity to consult their membership.
A spokesperson for Better Services Better Value said: "We will consider the findings of the Link survey and their views and those of others."
A three month consultation on proposals to close the services is due to begin on November 1.