Letter of support from GPs in Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton

On behalf of the three Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chairs

Dear resident

As GPs working across Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton, we want to make sure you know we support the £500m investment and NHS proposals to improve services at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust, called “Improving Healthcare Together”.

Our patients deserve better care – not only in new and refurbished hospitals, but also by bringing together specialist staff across both hospitals into one larger team. For specialist services such as A&E, emergency surgery and critical care, we want our patients to be treated by the most senior doctors – consultants – in the evenings and at weekends. This does not happen now, and the Trust is not meeting national quality standards. The NHS does not have enough of these specialist doctors nationally, so we need to support our medical colleagues at the Trust and allow them to work together better.

National evidence has shown us that it’s better for patients if we bring together these specialist staff and services. Bringing together stroke and trauma services across London has saved hundreds of lives. This has also been proven at Epsom and St Helier – where they have brought together the specialist teams that treat patients with broken hips. By doing this, doctors have saved lives locally, with the mortality rate dropping from 11% to 2.5%.

As GPs, we can see the real benefit of vibrant ‘district hospitals’ – with 85% of services that our patients use the most, staying put at St Helier and Epsom Hospitals wherever the new hospital is built. So patients will still visit Epsom and St Helier for services like urgent care, day surgery, MRI scans, x-rays, out-patients, renal dialysis, and there will be beds for patients who are medically stable but not well enough to go home.

Please have your say in this public consultation at www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk. or call 02038 800 271 by midnight on 1 April. We need to make sure we secure this £500m investment to our NHS locally. Please support us, and your hospital NHS staff. We need to make this happen.

Thank you.

On behalf of the three Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chairs:

Dr.Russell Hills – NHS Surrey Downs CCG Clinical Chair

Dr Andrew Murray – NHS Merton CCG Clinical Chair

Dr Jeff Croucher – NHS Sutton CCG Clinical Chair