Independent Clinical Senate report

Today the Improving Healthcare Programme is publishing the independent report from the Clinical Senates of London and the South East. Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton CCGs welcome this report with a joint message from our clinical leaders:

Dr Russell Hills (Clinical Chair, Surrey Downs CCG ), Dr Andrew Murray (Clinical Chair, Merton CCG ), Dr Jeffrey Croucher (Clinical Chair, Sutton CCG ), Dr James Marsh (Deputy Chief Executive and Joint Medical Director, Epsom and St Helier), Dr Ruth Charlton (Deputy Chief Executive and Joint Medical Director, Epsom and St Helier) and Arlene Wellman (Chief Nurse, Epsom and St Helier):

“As clinical leaders for NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton CCGs and Epsom and St Helier hospitals we want to place on record our total commitment to keeping hospital services within the combined geography of the three clinical commissioning groups. We are not proposing any solutions which will result in hospital-based services being moved from our joint area.

“We are very grateful to the South East and London Clinical Senates for the time they have taken to extensively review the proposed clinical model and provide their feedback for improving the case for change. Panel members, made up of healthcare professionals, service users and carers, commended our drive and initiative in developing such an innovative solution to the three key challenges facing Epsom and St Helier hospitals – workforce, estate and financial sustainability.

“The Panel stated clearly that there are significant benefits to bringing together the six acute hospital services into a new purpose built facility located on one of the three hospital sites and their feedback will prove invaluable as we further develop this model.

“We believe that the model we are proposing is the right thing to do. It will mean keeping as much care locally as possible and joining together health and care services people use such as GPs, community health, mental health and social care. This includes providing rehabilitation beds primarily for older people at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals in every option. The Clinical Senate recommendations are extremely helpful as we continue to develop and refine these proposals.

“Quality of care and patient safety is at the very heart of everything we do. The models of care have been, and continue to be, developed by clinicians from across Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton including physicians, surgeons, GPs, nurses and therapists. The reconfiguration plans are designed to provide quality, safe and sustainable services for the whole of our population in the future. By bringing together six acute services for the very sickest patients into one purpose built acute facility on one of the three hospital sites – Epsom, St Helier or Sutton, we will be able to achieve this.

“We recognise there is still work to do and together clinical colleagues and partners from across all three CCGs and the hospitals will be continuing to develop the detail supporting the clinical model, and this will build on the comments and recommendations from the Senates. This work will inform the pre-consultation business case, which once completed, will be published and will be a key component of any future public consultation.

“We want to reassure the public that although current acute services are fragile they are safe today. The only way to maintain their safety and improve the quality of care for the sickest and most at-risk patients for generations to come, is to bring together the six acute services onto a single site in a new facility.”

Read the full report and a summary of the recommendations from the Clinical Senates – here.

What is a Clinical Senate?

Clinical Senates have been established to be a source of independent, strategic advice and guidance to commissioners to help them make the best decisions about healthcare for the populations they represent.

Clinical Senate reviews are designed to ensure that proposals for large scale change and reconfiguration are sound and evidence-based, in the best interest of patients and will improve the quality, safety and sustainability of care.

Clinical Senates are independent non statutory advisory bodies hosted by NHS England.

Implementation of the guidance is the responsibility of local commissioners, in light of their duties to avoid unlawful discrimination and to have regard to promoting equality of access.