Artist impressions of how new specialist emergency care hospital could look unveiled as consultation events begin

People got their first glimpse of how a new emergency care hospital in Epsom, Carshalton or Sutton could look as a series of events designed to help people have their say on proposals to invest £500 million in improving health services got under way.

More than 100 people in Merton had the chance to see the images on Friday (24 January) after they were displayed for residents in Sutton on 21 January in the opening two of nine listening events as part of a public consultation on improving both Epsom and St Helier hospitals and three options to invest in building the new facility – on the Epsom, St Helier or Sutton hospital sites.

The events – a third has now taken place – have been organised by the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Merton, Surrey Downs and Sutton. Each CCG area will host three of them during the consultation, which runs until 1 April, as health leaders aim to ensure as many voices from as many communities as possible are heard, including those who find it difficult to go to meetings or respond in writing. In addition to these nine listening events, there are 14 different ways the CCGs are engaging local communities.

These include, focus groups, telephone surveys, pop-up stalls in busy places like hospitals and GP surgeries, funding voluntary groups to help communities engage with the consultation, as well as targeted outreach work with groups such as older people and deprived communities as well as seldom heard groups like people with learning disabilities.

Merton GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Merton CCG, Dr Andrew Murray said: “These images give us an exciting glimpse of what a brand new 21st century hospital facility could look like and they offer people attending our nine listening events a visual idea of the buildings that could be provided as part of our £500 million investment in improving health services. Let us know what you think – the listening events in each CCG area are just one of a number of ways you can do that.”

The new 21st century hospital facility would bring together six services for the most unwell patients, as well as hospital births. Sutton has been put forward as the preferred option for the facility’s location but the NHS is clear that all three options could be delivered.

All three options would see the majority of services (85%) staying at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals, with a minimum investment of at least £80 million in the current buildings. Both would run round the clock, 365 days a year, with urgent treatment centres, inpatient and outpatient services.

Dr Ruth Charlton, Joint Medical Director for Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, said: “We have many buildings that are older than the NHS. It can’t be right that sick patients are now wheeled around in their beds outside to reach other parts of the hospital – often in the rain – or that ambulances move people around for treatment because the lifts are too small for modern hospital beds.

“I want the most unwell patients to be able to get a fast diagnosis and start treatment more quickly to speed up their recovery. Our proposals for a new specialist emergency care facility set out how bigger teams of expert staff could do this.”

Details of all public events, together with the consultation questionnaire, are available on the Improving Healthcare Together website.

The full list of nine listening events, which take place between Tuesday 21 January and Tuesday 17 March, is below.

Sutton CCG listening events – Tuesday 21 January at the Holiday Inn, Gibson Road, Sutton SSM1 2RF (6.30pm-8.30pm); Wednesday 12 February at The Phoenix Centre, Mollison Drive, Wallington SM6 9NZ (1pm-3pm); Monday 2 March St Helier Community Association, Hill House, Bishopsford Road, Carshalton, Morden SM4 6BL (6.30pm-8.30pm).

Merton CCG listening events – Friday 24 January at the Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Road, Morden  SM4 6PX (1.30pm-3.30pm); Wednesday 12 February at the New Horizon Centre, South Lodge Avenue, Mitcham CR4 1LT (6.30pm-8.30pm); Thursday 5 March at Chak 89, 105 Bond Road, Mitcham CR4 3HG (6.30pm-8.30pm).

Surrey Downs CCG listening events – Tuesday 28 January, The King’s Church Epsom, Longmead Road, Epsom KT19 9BU (1.30pm-3.30pm); Tuesday 11 February Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom Downs, Epsom KT18 5LQ (6.30pm-8.30pm); Tuesday 17 March, Bookham Community Association, The Old Barn Hall, 55 Church Road, Great Bookham, Leatherhead KT23 3PG.

Images can be viewed here


Notes to editors

The 15 ways of raising awareness and for members of the public and stakeholders to participate in the consultation and give their views on our proposals:

A series of 9 public listening events (3 in each CCG area) – open invite events to share information on proposed options for change, answer specific questions from the public to increase understanding of the consultation and proposals, as well as invite and listen to feedback and encourage people to respond to the consultation questionnaire.

Community outreach work – targeted engagement activities with groups such as older people and deprived communities as well as seldom heard groups like people with learning disabilities; also responding to invites to local groups and attending local events and venues to promote the consultation.

Funding voluntary groups – to help communities with various protected characteristics and seldom heard groups engage with the consultation; working with lead voluntary and community organisation in each CCG.

Deliberative events – informed two-way discussions over a full day with participants recruited to ensure representative sample from Trust catchment (age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status).

Focus groups & in-depth interviews – Small group discussions with participants recruited from key populations identified in impact assessments (older people, pregnant women/women who have recently given birth, parents of under 16s and 16-24-year-olds) & 1 to 1 interviews with harder to reach populations.

Telephone surveys – based on the questions within the consultation questionnaire and will target a representative range of views from the combined geographies and neighbouring areas of those who may not otherwise contribute to the consultation.

Mobile roadshows in busy places – to raise awareness of the consultation, share information and encourage people to ask questions and complete the consultation questionnaire.

Clinical pop-ups – raising awareness with patients and staff in GP surgeries, St Helier and Epsom Hospitals to encourage people to ask questions and complete the consultation questionnaire.

Royal Mail door to door leaflet drop – a leaflet which summarises the proposals and gives details on planned engagement activities will be posted to residents across Merton, Sutton and Surrey Downs and number of impacted neighbouring areas between 13 January – 18 January. Additionally, we will distribute leaflets across GP practices, pharmacies, St Helier and Epsom Hospitals, councils and libraries.

Distribution of consultation materials – we have printed copies consultation summary and full document which we will send out to GP practices, citizens advice centres, council buildings, dentists, job centres, opticians,  leisure centres, libraries, pharmacies, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals and community and voluntary sector organisations; these will be electronically available along with the questionnaire from the IHT website.  The questionnaire will also be available to fill in on paper with a freepost address and will be promoted at all our engagement events.

Making materials accessible to all – we have translated the consultation questionnaire and consultation summary into three languages: Tamil, Urdu and Polish (three main most common languages in our combined geographies). These documents are available electronically and hard copies can be provided upon request. We have produced easy read versions of the consultation summary and questionnaire. The Improving Healthcare Together website also features software designed to support anyone with a visual impairment, learning disability or where English isn’t their first language. Browsealoud is a support tool which reads aloud, magnifies and translates all the content (including pdfs) on our website.

Social media – using social media channels across South West London and targeted advertising to raise awareness of how people can access information, have their say and complete the consultation questionnaire.

Radio advertising – radio advertisements broadcast on local radio stations across Merton, Sutton and Surrey Downs to raise awareness of the consultation and to let people know how they can have their say.

Print advertising – in local newspapers raising awareness of the proposals and explaining the number of ways people can get involved and have their say.

For more information please contact the press office 020 3880 0302 or pressoffice@swlondon.nhs.uk