St Helier Hospital could face further cuts as BSBV review looks to make millions of pounds of savings

Hospital could face further cuts as review looks to make millions of pounds of savings

St Helier Hospital

Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow

First published in Save St Helier Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Wandsworth

St Helier Hospital could face further cuts to its services as a healthcare review looks to find millions of pounds of further savings.

The inclusion of Epsom Hospital in NHS SW London's, Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review has increased the deficit at hospitals in the region the review is trying to target from £11.8m to £25.6m.

Epsom Hospital, which has a current projected deficit of £11.1m for 2012-13, has been added to the review after its recent collapsed merger with Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital.

It has put pressure on BSBV to find further savings across the region, as it tries to generate a one per cent surplus across health services in SW London.

A spokesman for the review said all options were being looked at for further savings to be found.

Paul Burstow the MP for Sutton and Cheam, said St Helier should not be made to pay for Epsom's inclusion in the review - which has so far recommended St Helier Hospital should lose its accident and emergency and maternity departments

He said: "Epsom’s situation was made worse by the transaction falling apart and it is also a problem made worse by the fact that groups in North Surrey and Epsom are not commissioning services to Epsom.

"Why should people living in the London Borough of Sutton suffer a loss of services because there is a lack of confidence in commissioners out of Epsom?

"BSBV, if they are going to carry on, need to be focusing very clearly on Epsom because Epsom is now become the sink of the whole deficit problem - where most of the deficit is concerned.

"They need to address what’s not working."

The revelation of the soaring figures outraged councillors at the South West London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny committee earlier this month.

Merton councillor Suzanne Evans said: "When you look at the financials it is gob-smacking unbelievable.

"It just seems to me by bringing in Epsom and Surrey Downs CCG they are going to be supporting Epsom at the expense of St Helier."

Geoff Martin from London Health Emergency said: "There's a real danger now that services at both Epsom and St Helier will be reduced to rubble as the wasteful and discredited BSBV bulldozer is revved up for another outing in the new year.

"It just shows the crisis is going from bad to worse. They say the drive to close services has nothing to do with money. It’s totally cash led."

A spokesman for Better Services Better Value said: "Clearly there is a bigger financial challenge to take into account, but Epsom and St Helier is a London trust and as the merger between Epsom and Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust is not going ahead, it follows that we would include Epsom Hospital in the BSBV programme."

Hospital trusts are responsible for their own deficits and the Epsom and St Helier Trust Board recently announced that Epsom's deficit had been reduced from £13.8m to £11.1m.

BSBV said the figures will continue to be subject to change and they always use the most recent figures which have been through their validation process.

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