Healthcare bosses have put St Helier Hospital one step closer to losing its vital services.

At a meeting this afternoon, the programme board of the Better Services Better Value review put forward their preferred model for the future shape of health services in SW London.

They have recommended St Helier Hospital lose its accident and emergency and maternity departments.

Under the recommendations St Helier will retain a stand-alone urgent care centre which could treat up to half of current A&E patients.

They have also proposed a planned care centre at St Helier Hospital for non-emergency surgery for patients across south west London.

The programme board recommended changes to children’s care in SW London with the sickest children and those requiring a longer hospital stay being sent to St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

Their recommendations will be considered by the joint boards the SW London Primary Care Trusts on Thursday, September 27.

If they accept the recommendation – it is expected to go to public consultation from October 1.

Dr Howard Freeman, local GP and joint medical director for Better Services Better Value, said:  “After a careful and considered deliberative process, these are our recommendations. No final decisions have been made. Our proposals will be subject to NHS London and Joint Boards approval and, if they get that, to full public consultation.”

Dr David Finch, local GP and joint medical director for Better Services Better Value, said:
“Whilst as a GP I am excited by the huge potential of the BSBV programme for saving lives and improving patient care, it is important to recognise that some people will be anxious about our proposals.

“I want to reassure those people that over 100 doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been involved in this programme and that we believe these changes will have huge clinical benefits for patients.

“I know that some people are worried that they may have to travel further for care. But treatment begins in the ambulance and the evidence strongly suggests that putting all of the best specialists in fewer units is much safer for patients.

"Travel times are important, but it’s much more important that you get to the right specialist team with the right equipment, even if that means a slightly longer journey.”