Concerns raised over St George's waiting lists and closures at St Helier

Waiting list worry over health plans

St George's Hospital in Tooting

St Helier Hospital in Carshalton

Sutton Guardian is running a Save St Helier campaign

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

Concerns have been raised over St George's Hospital's ability to cope if proposed frontline closures at St Helier go ahead, after it emerged the Tooting hospital is missing waiting list targets.

The letter leaked to the Sutton Guardian reveals that in some cases at the Tooting based hospital, patients have breached the national 18 week referral to treatment waiting time target.

It asks SW London GPs not to refer patients to St Georges specialities including upper GI surgery, bariatric surgery, spinal surgery, Ear Nose and Throat and gynaecology.

Gynaecology is one of the departments likely to be lost from St Helier if its maternity department is closed.

As part of a healthcare review, Better Services Better Value, it was recommended that St Helier Hospital should be the hospital in SW London to lose its accident and emergency and maternity departments. This would mean St Helier's A&E and maternity patients would be sent to St George's.

The letter from the medical directors of NHS SW London has raised concerns surrounding the hospital's ability to cope with the future changes.

It states that the problems at St George's date back to the introduction of a new patient reporting system at the trust and difficulties are compounded because the hospital is busy.

The letter advises all GPs in SW London to refer their patients in five different specialities to alternative providers including St Helier until January 2013.

Tom Brake, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, said: "How can we afford to lose the services at St Helier and for it to become a centre for planned surgery, sending extra patients to St George's, when St Helier is being used to carry George's case load?"

A spokesperson for BSBV said: "Under the BSBV proposals, St George’s Hospital would be expanded - it would have larger A&E and maternity services and would host a new children’s hospital for south west London. It would be more than able to cope."

A spokesman for St George's Hospital said: "A plan has been developed with our clinical commissioners to help us address the short term capacity issues the trust currently faces with a few very specialist treatments which are very popular with patients and GPs from across south west London and Surrey. This includes working with other NHS providers and asking GPs to consider referring their patients to these other local hospitals that have spare capacity for these specialities over the next few months.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:13pm Fri 17 Aug 12

imalaydee says...

I was at St. Georges A & E some time ago and had to wait over 3 hours to see someone in the early evening, this was on a weekday! I cant see how getting rid of St. Helier A & E is going to improve that, it is not fair on the patients and it is not fair on the Doctors and Nurses.

Tom Brake, please stand up on PM questions, live on TV, and ask Cameron what the hell he is thinking, please!!!
I was at St. Georges A & E some time ago and had to wait over 3 hours to see someone in the early evening, this was on a weekday! I cant see how getting rid of St. Helier A & E is going to improve that, it is not fair on the patients and it is not fair on the Doctors and Nurses. Tom Brake, please stand up on PM questions, live on TV, and ask Cameron what the hell he is thinking, please!!! imalaydee
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Fri 17 Aug 12

Michael Pantlin says...

imalaydee wrote:
I was at St. Georges A & E some time ago and had to wait over 3 hours to see someone in the early evening, this was on a weekday! I cant see how getting rid of St. Helier A & E is going to improve that, it is not fair on the patients and it is not fair on the Doctors and Nurses.

Tom Brake, please stand up on PM questions, live on TV, and ask Cameron what the hell he is thinking, please!!!
Or even Paul Burstow the Care Minister could ask though I doubt he will.
[quote][p][bold]imalaydee[/bold] wrote: I was at St. Georges A & E some time ago and had to wait over 3 hours to see someone in the early evening, this was on a weekday! I cant see how getting rid of St. Helier A & E is going to improve that, it is not fair on the patients and it is not fair on the Doctors and Nurses. Tom Brake, please stand up on PM questions, live on TV, and ask Cameron what the hell he is thinking, please!!![/p][/quote]Or even Paul Burstow the Care Minister could ask though I doubt he will. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Fri 17 Aug 12

BSBV_spokesperson says...

Please see our full statement supplied to the Sutton Guardian:
Under the BSBV proposals, St George’s Hospital would be expanded – it would have larger A&E and maternity services and would host a new children’s hospital for south west London. It would be more than able to cope. We have said many times that the current situation is not sustainable. There is a clear need to change services, including centralising emergency, maternity and children’s services and separating planned and emergency care, so that we get better outcomes for patients. Our vision for a separate elective care centre for south west London will also reduce the pressure on our hospitals, allowing three of them to focus on becoming centres of excellence for emergency, maternity, paediatrics and other specialist services and one to host a state of the art planned care centre.
Please see our full statement supplied to the Sutton Guardian: Under the BSBV proposals, St George’s Hospital would be expanded – it would have larger A&E and maternity services and would host a new children’s hospital for south west London. It would be more than able to cope. We have said many times that the current situation is not sustainable. There is a clear need to change services, including centralising emergency, maternity and children’s services and separating planned and emergency care, so that we get better outcomes for patients. Our vision for a separate elective care centre for south west London will also reduce the pressure on our hospitals, allowing three of them to focus on becoming centres of excellence for emergency, maternity, paediatrics and other specialist services and one to host a state of the art planned care centre. BSBV_spokesperson
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Fri 17 Aug 12

Michael Pantlin says...

I was taken by ambulance to St. Helier A&E at around 1am on Tuesday morning following one of my acute febrile neutropenic sepsis events. The two LAS young women paramedics who came to help were wonderful, kind reasssuring and knew exactly what to do. On arrival at A&E I was immediately attended by three doctors and two nurses and put on oxygen, BP monitor, x-rayed and ECG'd with four bags of fluid and antibiotics IVs. I cannot praise them enough. I don't know their names except for Nurse Bonnie, thank you all. Despite best efforts the paramedics could not get a line in because of the state of the veins and this needed a doctor. If I had gone on to St. Geoge's there would have been delay. Thanks to such prompt action I started to feel better within an hour and was able to be moved to the MAU around 5am. We need our fine St. Helier A&E, if it ain't broke which it isn't then "NHS Bosses" don't destroy it and give us a hard and dangerous time.
I was taken by ambulance to St. Helier A&E at around 1am on Tuesday morning following one of my acute febrile neutropenic sepsis events. The two LAS young women paramedics who came to help were wonderful, kind reasssuring and knew exactly what to do. On arrival at A&E I was immediately attended by three doctors and two nurses and put on oxygen, BP monitor, x-rayed and ECG'd with four bags of fluid and antibiotics IVs. I cannot praise them enough. I don't know their names except for Nurse Bonnie, thank you all. Despite best efforts the paramedics could not get a line in because of the state of the veins and this needed a doctor. If I had gone on to St. Geoge's there would have been delay. Thanks to such prompt action I started to feel better within an hour and was able to be moved to the MAU around 5am. We need our fine St. Helier A&E, if it ain't broke which it isn't then "NHS Bosses" don't destroy it and give us a hard and dangerous time. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Sun 19 Aug 12

exa_cordon says...

BSBV_spokesperson wrote:
Please see our full statement supplied to the Sutton Guardian:
Under the BSBV proposals, St George’s Hospital would be expanded – it would have larger A&E and maternity services and would host a new children’s hospital for south west London. It would be more than able to cope. We have said many times that the current situation is not sustainable. There is a clear need to change services, including centralising emergency, maternity and children’s services and separating planned and emergency care, so that we get better outcomes for patients. Our vision for a separate elective care centre for south west London will also reduce the pressure on our hospitals, allowing three of them to focus on becoming centres of excellence for emergency, maternity, paediatrics and other specialist services and one to host a state of the art planned care centre.
Sounds good, but I've worked in the NHS long enough to know that the fancy words soon break down when the money has to be spent. I've seen it happen on numerous occasions.
[quote][p][bold]BSBV_spokesperson[/bold] wrote: Please see our full statement supplied to the Sutton Guardian: Under the BSBV proposals, St George’s Hospital would be expanded – it would have larger A&E and maternity services and would host a new children’s hospital for south west London. It would be more than able to cope. We have said many times that the current situation is not sustainable. There is a clear need to change services, including centralising emergency, maternity and children’s services and separating planned and emergency care, so that we get better outcomes for patients. Our vision for a separate elective care centre for south west London will also reduce the pressure on our hospitals, allowing three of them to focus on becoming centres of excellence for emergency, maternity, paediatrics and other specialist services and one to host a state of the art planned care centre.[/p][/quote]Sounds good, but I've worked in the NHS long enough to know that the fancy words soon break down when the money has to be spent. I've seen it happen on numerous occasions. exa_cordon
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Sun 19 Aug 12

dave.artist says...

I try not to be cynical about our politicians who still believe we elect them to have power over us; silly me! St.Helier is our hospital and the difficulty many thousands of us would face in the event of a depletion in services doesn't bear thinking about!
I try not to be cynical about our politicians who still believe we elect them to have power over us; silly me! St.Helier is our hospital and the difficulty many thousands of us would face in the event of a depletion in services doesn't bear thinking about! dave.artist
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree