Monday, 23 December 2013

Letter printed in the Epsom Guardian

9:52am Monday 23rd December 2013
Epsom Borough Council and Surrey Downs CCG both deserve credit for their work this month.
Whilst I am known to be very critical of Epsom Council’s parking strategy I was very impressed by the speed with which they responded to my report of a broken bollard and the collapse of a street name sign in Epsom’s College ward.
These were fixed within days and the work was very well done. When attending Surrey Downs CCG board meeting this month it was very good to hear about all the hard work the SDCCG are doing to improve services both in the community and hospitals across Surrey.
There does seem to be a commitment to improve both social and health care for the Surrey area. This comes after Epsom and St Helier Trust have been in the top ranks for hospital safety.
It certainly seems as if we have turned a corner and I look forward to an even better 2014!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jane Race; Epsom

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Latest from College Ward, Epsom.

While I have lots of positive reports on Epsom Hospital Campaign I am also keeping a keen eye on College Ward's roads and any issues that may arise. This is especially important as our Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor, Anna Jones, has moved away from the area. Please feel free to email me if you have any issues that you would like to raise. I am always happy to help!

There have been lots of road works in the area and this has led to some congestion in some of the roads. The diversions on Burgh Heath Road due to road improvements have meant a temporary relief from some of the HGV lorries that use the road as a cut through. However, this is a still, in my view, a serious problem that both the police and local Council still need to address.

I have reported to the Council issues regarding road signs that have been damaged and the Council has assured me they will be fixed a.s.a.p. These include bollards and road name signs on Mospey Crescent.

Albert Road has issues with potholes and these have been flagged up to Surrey County Council who will be fixing them very soon!

Residential parking problems continue to cause difficulties both for visitors to relative's homes and to homeowners themselves. Until the RA led Borough Council address the lack of affordable parking for users of the town centre, and commuters we will continue to struggle with congestion.

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and restful holiday!

Epsom Hospital Board Meeting

On the 6th December I attended Epsom Hospital's Board Meeting to hear the latest news. 

Sutton Hospital
Sutton Hospital
6 December 2013
Plans to transfer some of the services from the Sutton Hospital site to St Helier and Epsom hospitals moved a step closer today, as the Trust Board, together with Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group have both agreed the proposals.
These changes will improve the services we offer to our patients, improve the working environment for our staff and will help us to balance the books.
We aim to move the services with as little disruption to patients as possible, and importantly, around three quarters of our patients will have a similar journey or will benefit from a shorter journey following the changes.
And, with an extra £4.5 million in capital to move our services into upgraded facilities at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals, improvements to our principal sites are already underway for the benefit of our patients, visitors and staff.
Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Sullivan, said: "This is excellent news for our patients and staff as it will allow us to maintain the full range of clinical services we currently provide, invest in better quality surroundings at St Helier and Epsom, and for many people, provide care closer to where they live.
"Around 60 per cent of patients at Sutton already use Epsom or St Helier hospital services, so we hope they will be in a familiar environment. In some cases it means that patients will have all their appointments in one place rather than travelling between our sites.
"In addition, locating the extra clinics and services at our main hospitals will strengthen both St Helier and Epsom clinically and financially, saving us more than £3 million each year.
"Our patients, staff, NHS partners and local councils have helped us to shape these plans and we will continue to work closely with each of these groups to ensure the moves take place with as little disruption as possible."
Dr Brendan Hudson, Chair of Sutton CCG said: "We have worked closely with the Trust to ensure that these moves will benefit patients with an improved healthcare environment and, for a number of people, care closer to home.
"The service move will bring together a comprehensive eye clinic and casualty at St Helier Hospital while retaining the very busy blood taking clinic at Sutton Hospital."
The Trust plans to leave a fifth of current activity at Sutton, including blood testing, pain management and chronic fatigue clinics. A fifth will transfer to Epsom, including urology (treatment of urinary tract conditions) and some eye clinics, with the remainder moving to St Helier, including the eye unit hub and general outpatient clinics.
As a result of these changes, three quarters of patients will see no change to their travel distance or be closer to where they are treated.
It is planned to stage the moves over a six month period from February to August 2014.

Trust Board Meeting (in Public) Part 1
Friday 6th December 2013 in Conference Room 1, Postgraduate Centre, 2nd Floor, Wells Wing, Epsom Hospital, Dorking Road, Epsom KT18 8EG
1. Introduction
9:30am to 11:30am
1.1 CHAIRMANS WELCOME: Laurence Newman
Members are reminded they have a requirement to declare any matter which might conflict, or be perceived to conflict, with their position as a member of the Board as detailed in Section138 of the Trusts Standing Orders.
2. General Business Issues
2.1 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8TH NOVEMBER 2013: Laurence Newman, Chairman
2.2 MATTERS ARISING REPORT: Laurence Newman, Chairman
2.3 ACTIONS LOG: Laurence Newman, Chairman
2.4 CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE: Laurence Newman
2.5. CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S UPDATE: Matthew Hopkins
3. Strategic Issues
3.1 BETTER SERVICES, BETTER VALUE REVIEW UPDATE: Peter Davies, Director of Strategy and Business Development
TB 142/13 TB 143/13 TB 144/13
TB 145/13
14. Quality, Performance and Patient Safety
4.1 INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL MONTHLY REPORT: Pippa Hart, Director of Nursing Standards and Quality Assurance
4.2 FRANCIS RECOMMENDATIONS ACTION PLAN: Dr James Marsh, Joint Medical Director
4.3 PATIENT EXPERIENCE REPORT: Pippa Hart, Director of Nursing Standards and Quality Assurance
4.4 NURSING AND MIDWIFERY STRATEGY 2013-2016: Pippa Hart, Director of Nursing Standards and Quality Assurance
4.5 PERFORMANCE REPORT MONTH 7: Chrisha Alagaratnam, Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Finance
4.6 FINANCE REPORT MONTH 7: Chrisha Alagaratnam, Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Finance
4.7 COMMUNICATIONS REPORT: Rachel Royall, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs
4.8 WARD ESTABLISHMENTS UPDATE REPORT: Pippa Hart, Director of Nursing Standards and Quality Assurance
5. Items for Approval
5.1 CHANGES TO TRUST SERVICES AT SUTTON HOSPITAL Jackie Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer
5.2 RESPONSIBLE OFFICER’S (MEDICAL REVALIDATION) BOARD REPORT: Dr Martin Stockwell, Associate Medical Director, Responsible Officer
6. Items for Information
6.2 CONTRACTS AWARDED OVER £50K: Chrisha Alagaratnam, Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Finance and Performance
7. Minutes and Reports from Board Committees
7.1 TRUST EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive and Chair of the Committee
Meeting held on 20th November 2013
7.2 FINANCE AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE: Laurence Newman, Chairman and Chair of the Committee Meeting held on 28th November 2013
TB 155/13
TB 156/13
TB 157/13
TB 158/13
TB 146/13 TB 147/13 TB 148/13 TB 149/13 TB 150/13
and Performance
TB 151/13 and Performance
Verbal report TB 151a/13
TB 152/13 TB 153/13
TB 154/13
Cherry McCormack, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Committee
Meeting held on 22nd November 2013
7.4 PATIENT SAFETY AND QUALITY COMMITTEE: TB 159/13 Professor David Oliveira, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Committee Meeting held on 29th November 2013
8. Any Other Business 9. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Trust Board will take place on Friday 7th February 2014 in the Nonsuch Room, Postgraduate Centre, St Helier Hospital, Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 1AA from 9:30am.
10. Closure
The Board is asked to resolve to exclude the public from Part II of the meeting due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted and because publicity of the items for consideration would be prejudicial to the public interest.
Questions from the Public
There will be an opportunity for members of staff, volunteers and the public to put questions to the Board in between parts I and II of the Board meeting.
Phil Ireland Trust Secretary 020 8296 3402

Surrey Downs CCG board meeting

 On the 29th November I attended the Surrey Downs CCG board meeting at Leatherhead Leisure Centre. This was the first of their meetings that I had attended since their decision to pull out of the BSBV programme so it was much anticipated! The Board meeting was very promising and I look forward to hearing more about their plans to improve and integrate services at Epsom Hospital.

Governing Body Meeting: 29th November 2013, 2.30pm
The Tylney Room Leatherhead Leisure Centre Guildford Rd, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BL
For details of the meeting and general information about Surrey Downs CCG visit our website
Governing Body Business
Welcome and introductions. Chairman
To note.
Apologies for absence Chairman
To note.
Register of Members Interests Chairman.
To note.
Att 1
Minutes of the Governing Body Meeting held on 27th September 2013 Chairman
To Agree
Att 2
Matters arising not on the agenda. Chairman
To Advise
Chief Officer’s Report Chief Officer.
To Advise.
Att 3
Governing Body Assurance Framework and Risk Register –– Chief Officer.
To Advise
Att 4Strategy and Commissioning
Better Services Better Value Chief Officer
To Agree
Att 5
Out of Hospital Strategy Chief Operating Officer
To Agree
Att 6
Annual Planning Framework Chief Officer
To Advise
Att 7
Equality Duty Action Plan – Chief Operating Officer
To Agree
Att 8
Locality report Chief Operating Officer
To Advise.
Att 9
Performance Against Delivery Plan Chief Operating Officer.
To Advise
Att 10
Integrated Quality and Performance Report Head of Clinical Quality
To Advise
Att 11
Performance Report Chief Operating Officer
To Advise
Att 12
Finance Report Chief Finance Officer.
To Advise
Att 13
Assurance papers – to note
Audit Committee Minutes - Chair of the Committee.
To Note
Att 14
Quality Committee Minutes - Chair of the Committee.
To Note
Att 15
Remuneration Committee – verbal feedback – Chair of the Committee
To note
Policies and procedures
Policies for agreement Chief Operating Officer
To Agree
Att 16
Personal Health Budgets update Chief Operating Officer
To Agree
Att 17
Other matters
Any other business. Chairman.
To Advise
Questions from the public. Chairman
To Advise
Dates of future Governing Body Meetings
20th December 31st January 28th February 21st March
Seminar Formal in public Seminar Formal in public
To note
In accordance with the CCG’s constitution and Section C3.17 (i) (ii) and Sections 1(2) and 1(8) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings Act 1960), it is resolved that it is necessary for representatives of the press and other members of the public to be excluded from the remainder of this meeting having regard to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, public discussion of which would be prejudicial to the public interest.
Governing Body members
Dr Claire Fuller
Dr Ibrahim Wali
Dr Mark Hamilton
Miles Freeman
Dr Andrew Sharpe
Gavin Cookman
Karen Parsons
Dr Hazim Taki
Peter Collis
Keith Edmunds
Dr Kate Laws
Denise Crone
Dr Jill Evans
Dr Suzanne Moore
Cliff Bush
Dr Simon Williams
Dr Robin Gupta
Eileen Clark (EC)*
Dr Steve Loveless
Alison Pointu
Nick Wilson (NW)*
* Denotes non-voting member
In attendance: Justin Dix, Governing Body Secretary (Minutes) Important information on the conduct of this meeting
Please note that all timings are indicative
This meeting is being recorded to ensure the accuracy of the minutes.
Freedom of Information Act: Those present at the meeting should be aware that their names and designations may be recorded in the minutes of this meeting, which will be published on the CCG’s web site and otherwise freely available.

Agenda item 8 Attachment
This paper and the decision arising from it have been developed from an agreed decision making framework in the Governing Body on 27th September 2013 (part 2). An appraisal of the future scenarios open to us for driving improvement in acute commissioning has been undertaken, the inputs externally validated and a Governing Body seminar on 22nd October agreed a recommendation to send this information to GPs preparatory to a vote. To allow further debate and full information flow from all parties there was a meeting for all Surrey Downs GPs on the 5th November including representation of the BSBV team and Epsom St Helier NHS Trust. A vote, offered to all GPs working in Surrey Downs CCG, followed and the decision in this paper is driven by the outcome of this vote as administered by the Electoral reform services.
Executive Summary and Key Issues
The Governing Body on 17th May 2013 agreed to nominate three members of the Governing Body to represent the CCG in the joint meeting with other CCGs to determine whether or not to go to consultation on the proposals emerging from the Better Service Better Value (BSBV) programme. The NHS England Assurance process on BSBV was still underway at this point but has now concluded all areas with the exception of requiring assurance of the support of GPs in Surrey Downs.
Given the major changes proposed by BSBV, Surrey Downs CCG offered every GP the opportunity to vote to find out if GPs agreed with the proposals as part of the four tests required to be satisfied before public consultation can begin.
Title of paper:
Better Service Better Value (BSBV)
Governing Body, 29th November 2013
Diane Hedges, BSBV Programme Advisor
Exec Lead:
Miles Freeman, Chief Officer
To Agree
To Advise
To Note
All GPs working in the Surrey Downs CCG area were asked to vote on the question
1Agenda item 8 Attachment
The Governing Body is asked to AGREE to withdraw from the BSBV programme as a vote of the GPs working in Surrey Downs CCG does not evidence support for the proposals.
Attachments: NONE Implications for wider governance
“Do you agree with the BSBV proposals?”
The results of the ballot were as follows;
Number of yes votes – 37 (25%)
Number of no votes – 110 (74.3%)
Number who abstained – 1 (0.7%)
Total votes – 148 (66.7% of eligible voters)
The ballot results demonstrate that Surrey Downs GPs do not agree the BSBV
proposals are right for our Surrey population. The Governing Body expected to act in
line with the results of the GP vote when making a formal decision at this meeting
and so has already announced an intention to withdraw.
What happens now and when?
Our next steps are to make our vision for out of hospital care a reality so patients
benefit from having integrated care delivered more effectively and efficiently. We are
not ruling out service changes in the future but the implication is the Governing Body
would now, together with our partners, focus our work on achieving the
improvements we want to see locally. We will continue to work with Epsom and St
Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure local people continue to have
access to safe and sustainable services. Part of our out of hospital strategy also
looks to increase community capacity and improve the hospital discharge process,
which will help ensure local patients get the best possible care. Given our patient
flows into South West London we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in
London and ensure we understand and respond appropriately to any emerging
Quality and patient safety: Quality and safety was addressed in the preparatory work for the GP vote.
Patient and Public Engagement: There was an engagement process around BSBV in Surrey Downs leading up to the proposal to move to public consultation. Engagement will now be around developing Surrey Downs future plans as part of our commitment to improve healthcare for local people, working in partnership with clinicians, our partners, local people and patients.
Agenda item 8 Attachment
Equality Duty: There is no significant service change arising from this paper.
Finance and resource: Financial assessment was addressed in the preparatory information for the GP vote.
Conflicts of interest: Dr. Mark Hamilton is a secondary care clinician working at St George’s Hospital. This interest is therefore specifically relevant to the discussion and we confirm Mark has not participated in any vote related to BSBV.
Communications Plan: Stakeholders have been kept informed of the vote and its outcome. This paper is available on the CCG web site.
Legal or compliance issues: Legal advice has previously been sought. If the BSBV programme continues and recommends changes which impact on services in the Surrey Downs area then further legal advice is likely to be sought to assure appropriate action and response.
Risk and Assurance: Risk SD0003 applies (this is now on the assurance framework) and is significantly managed by this recommended decision. If SDCCG exit the BSBV process BSBV may continue but not including Epsom Hospital. There will continue to be some risk emerging until the future direction of services is settled.

Agenda item 9 Attachment
During July and August 2012 clinicians and stakeholders were invited to attend workshops and share their views and local people were invited to complete a questionnaire in which we asked them to rank a series of health priorities and to tell us about any other areas they wanted us to focus on. During this period, we engaged with GP representatives from our 33 member practices, as well as a wide range of stakeholders. We also received more than 400 completed questionnaires from members of the public. We collated this feedback and used it to inform the development of our commissioning priorities.
In April 2013, we built on this work through an intensive 10 week programme that involved more than 160 of our GP members and a broad range of stakeholders to develop an Out of Hospital Strategy that supports wider commissioning plans and focuses on providing more care in the community.
This strategy has been regularly reviewed by the Executive Committee and Governing Body prior to seeking approval.
Executive Summary and Key Issues
The aim of our Out of Hospital Strategy is to deliver more care in community settings and improve quality of care, whilst also ensuring services are sustainable longer term.
This work is happening in parallel to work happening as part of the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) programme which is currently looking at acute care standards
Title of paper:
Out of Hospital Strategy
Governing Body, 29th November 2013
Mark Needham, Head of Service redesign
Exec Lead:
Karen Parsons, Chief Operating Officer
To Agree
To Advise
To NoteAgenda item 9 Attachment
for hospitals in south west London, which includes Epsom Hospital (our local acute hospital) as it is part of a London facing trust. The focus of this strategy is on community services and getting these right now. We believe these improvements need to happen now, regardless of any other changes that are proposed - it does not pre-empt the outcome of the Better Services Better Value review.
The Out of Hospital Strategy strategic framework is based on the premise that primary and community care needs to be transformed in order to achieve the system changes necessary to deliver high quality and safe care, which is appropriate, closer to home and provided by suitably trained professionals. Furthermore, there needs to be integrated care pathways and joint working with acute and mental health providers, local authorities, the voluntary sector and other partner organisations. There also needs to be a drive to improve patient education and the self- management of conditions.
Surrey Downs CCG is an active member of the Surrey Health and Well-being Board and we work closely with Surrey County Council (SCC) to promote good health and well-being within our local population. This Out of Hospital strategy supports the Surrey Health and Well-being Strategy and uses the evidence presented in Surrey’s Joint Strategic Health Needs Assessment (JSNA).
In addition to the headlines above, Surrey Downs also has a number of specific groups with specific health needs that require a more targeted approach. Our commissioning intentions will need to ensure health provision for these groups which include:
Carers: more than 27,500 people of all ages provide unpaid care; 1,500 are over 65 providing more than 20 hours a week just in Mole Valley and Epsom and Ewell
Older people: particularly with the high rate of falls, hip fractures, and increasing impact of excess winter deaths on local populations
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community: Surrey has the 4th largest gypsy, Roma and traveller community in the country. Surrey Downs CCG has around 7 authorised gypsy, Roma and traveller sites
Prisoners and ex-offenders: Down View women’s prison including the Josephine Butler Unit for female juveniles and High Down men’s prison located in Banstead
Children and young people – ensuring robust safe guarding processes, promoting healthy lifestyles and social engagement and education/training.
Recommendation(s): The Governing Body is asked to AGREE the strategy.
Attachments / references: The full strategy is available on the CCG website at
Agenda item 9 Attachment
Implications for wider governance
Quality and patient safety: The strategy is based on clinical best practice, clinical audits and robust evidence to ensure the strategic vision was credible, practical and achieves key quality standards for patients in terms of Access; Choice; Experience; Safety; Outcomes.
Patient and Public Engagement: The Strategy has been discussed with the CCG’s Patient Advisory Group, which includes representation from carer, patient and other voluntary sector groups and further discussed are planned to ensure this group is fully engaged with this work moving forwards. As well as seeking their views on our commissioning plans, we will also be engaging them on how we share and communicate our plans and priorities more widely within the local community.
Equality Duty: This strategy has been designed to meet the requirements of the NHS Constitution and as such we believe it meets the requirements of the Equality Act in respect of not discriminating against any groups with protected characteristics.
Finance and resources: Value for money estimates are based on contractual and finance information, which is subject to Key Performance Indicators and contractual adjustments, that may affect the real cost of service provision. Whilst caution should be applied to programme budgeting and financial data, which needs to be explored in more detail, the data suggests there is an opportunity for the CCG to learn from the lower spend, better outcome areas, as to what makes these effective, better quality pathways.
Communications Plan: This strategy will include a communications campaign to raise awareness of the services available out of hours and to reinforce key messages about where to access care locally.
Legal or compliance issues: The strategy meets the requirements of the NHS constitution particularly in relation to access and continuously improving care.
Risk and Assurance: This is item 1.2 in the Governing Body Assurance Framework which sets out the major risks and mitigating actions to this objective.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Epsom Hospital A&E and maternity units saved by doctors' vote BY DORKING ADVERTISER

Epsom Hospital A&E and maternity units saved by doctors' vote

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: November 14, 2013
By Jennifer Hardwick

CELEBRATION:  Campaigners greet the news outside Epsom Hospital this week    REKS20131211a-016_C Photo by Kevin Shaw
CELEBRATION: Campaigners greet the news outside Epsom Hospital this week 
REKS20131211a-016_C Photo by Kevin Shaw
 Comments (0)
THE A&E department and maternity ward at Epsom Hospital have been saved after doctors voted overwhelmingly against plans to close them.
The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which covers Mole Valley, Banstead and Tadworth – polled its GPs on their views about the Better Services, Better Value (BSBV) review, which recommended that Epsom should become an elective care centre and lose both of the key services.
The results, announced on Friday, showed that 74.3 per cent of 148 medical professionals voted "no" when asked whether they supported the proposals.
The damning conclusion means the CCG will now pull out of the BSBV process, and Epsom will no longer be affected by any recommendations it makes.
CCG chairman Dr Claire Fuller said: "This important ballot result has shown that GPs within our CCG are not confident that the BSBV proposals are able to meet the needs of our local population at this time.
"This decision is not taken lightly or without due care and consideration of patients and colleagues in south west London but our responsibility has to be to our local patients."
Jane Race of the Save Epsom Hospital campaign said she felt "really emotional" when she heard the result of the vote.
She added: "I was in Marks and Spencer at the time and I just cried. I couldn't believe it.
"I think for me personally with everything that BSBV has been saying it was a vindication really, because we had put a lot of evidence out there and it was just poor what they released in response."
The vote was responded to by 66.7 per cent of the health professionals eligible to do so.
Reacting to the news, Mole Valley's MP Sir Paul Beresford said: "From my point of view this is unexpected but delightful. It's quite clear that what the doctors think is what the patients think is what the politicians think.
"Really we can't have Epsom Hospital stuck in with the south west London hospitals. We have got to use this opportunity now to really rally round Epsom and build it up.
"Perhaps it might be possible to look at linking with St Peter's again."
Ashtead MP Chris Grayling was similarly delighted. He said: "I think this is great news for Epsom Hospital and for the community.
"BSBV always failed to recognise the true impact of what it was proposing on healthcare in Surrey. It was all much too London-focused. This will give us a chance to focus on health services in our area and keep those services here rather than in south west London."
Following Surrey Downs CCG's withdrawal from the BSBV programme, the other six CCGs affected by it – Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth – issued a response stating they "understand and respect" their colleagues' position.

Read more:

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


GPs Vote to Reject Plans to Downgrade Epsom Hospital

I am writing following my email last week to let you know the result of the GPs ballot on the future of Epsom Hospital. I am very pleased to be able to report that our local doctors voted overwhelmingly to oppose the plans and as a result Surrey has now withdrawn from the Better Services Better Value programme, which was recommending the removal of A&E and maternity services from Epsom.

Campaigners and members of the public at the SDCCG board meeting on 17th May 2013

This is very good news and a tribute to everyone who has been involved in campaigning against the plans. I am grateful to everyone who came to the mass meeting at the racecourse and has helped in what we have been doing.

I am now expecting serious discussions locally about how to create stronger links between the hospital and community services, and I hope that our local doctors can find a better approach for the future than these seemingly endless attempts to downgrade Epsom.

Chris Grayling MP

Jubilant campaigners celebrating the end of the BSBV campaign for Epsom Hospital.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

A great result for Epsom Hospital!

GPs overwhelmingly reject BSBV proposals

12:51pm Friday 8th November 2013
Epsom GPs have voted overwhelmingly to reject the proposed shake-up of acute hospitals which would have seen Epsom Hospital lose its accident and emergency and maternity units.
The results of the poll were leaked at 12.30pm today showing that 74 per cent of GPs who took part voted against the Better Services Better Value proposals.
Just 25 per cent of the GPs had been persuaded that the proposals would be good for their patients, despite a last minute presentation by the BSBV team to the doctors on Tuesday night.
Two thirds of all the GPs, including locums, working in the Surrey Downs area took part in the secret ballot which was run online by an independent company.
Health campaigner Jane Race said she was in tears when she found out the result.
She said: "This is excellent news. It is very good to know that Surrey GPs are thinking about the interests of their patients and are preserving our services.
"We can go forward in confidence that they will work to maintain and invest in the future of the NHS.
"We have worked very hard to gather evidence showing that the BSBV proposals were unsafe and not in the interests of Surrey patients.
"We now look forward to the CCGs and local clinicians working together to produce the best possible service for their patients and the community as a whole."
A BSBV spokesman said: "My assessment is that they will now withdraw from the programme. The six other CCGs will have to consider their next steps."

Thursday, 31 October 2013


31 October 2013
Media release                                                              
Surrey Downs doctors to vote to gauge level of support for BSBV proposals

Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is to poll its GPs to see if local doctors agree with the Better Services, Better Value (BSBV) proposals.  This is part of the assurance process required by NHS England before the south west London and Surrey Downs clinical commissioning groups can meet to decide if public consultation can begin. 

Evidence of GP support is one of four tests introduced by Andrew Lansley in 2010 to ensure that planned significant service changes: are underpinned by clear evidence of the clinical case for change; have benefitted from strengthened patient and public engagement; have the support of local GP commissioners; and have consistency with current and potential patient choice.

The Governing Body of Surrey Downs CCG is offering all GPs the opportunity to vote including salaried GPs and locums.  This is because all BSBV options propose major changes at Epsom Hospital.

Miles Freeman, Chief Officer at Surrey Downs CCG said:
“As a Governing Body we have carefully reviewed and deliberated the Better Services Better Value proposals and we have also considered other alternatives, working with Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

“The Governing Body fully acknowledges that BSBV proposes the highest standards of care for London services.  However, that shared ambition must be balanced with the needs of Surrey and the current BSBV proposals may not offer the only or best solution for local patients.

“As a membership organisation it’s only right and proper that we test the level of support through a ballot of all our GPs. The ballot is being managed independently and we will announce the outcome on 8 November.”


Note to editors

Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for commissioning healthcare for the 290,000 people living in Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, east Elmbridge and Banstead. The CCG is made up of 33 GP practices and has a budget of £314 million to buy healthcare from local hospitals, community services, social care, ambulance services, mental health care and any many other services for local people.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Rip off Council propose another price rise for parking in Epsom town centre

Councillors must stop fleecing residents over parking charges

9:30am Tuesday 22nd October 2013

 I am writing in response to the Epsom Guardian’s online article stating that the council wants to increase the parking charges in Epsom again.

When I first suggested to the new town centre manager, Adam Worley, the introduction of an Epsom Card I hoped that he would copy the scheme similar to the Cobham Village Card, where members receive money off shops in return for their loyalty.

I also asked him to reduce parking charges in line with other neighbouring areas.
What the council is proposing comes with an annual fee and will lead to an increase in parking charges, making parking on a Sunday more expensive than car parks in Guildford.

This is quite outrageous.

Councillor Morris agreeing to the council’s proposals to increase car parking fees is again reiterating what the Resident Association councillors have said, i.e. that car parking charges and council tax are the only revenue streams available.

Charging blue badge holders in efforts to raise more money has certainly failed, as most of the disabled parking bays in the Town Hall car park, and Upper High Street remain empty.

Councillor Morris is very mistaken if she thinks that Epsom parking charges are not expensive compared to similar neighbouring towns, and to say '"I love my town and if you don’t like Epsom go and live somewhere else and stop running the town down." is equally out of touch with reality.

I love my town too, but I want to be able to afford to use it! With energy prices going up, we are going to have to pay more just to breathe! How is increasing parking charges helping Epsom residents?
Councillors must think of alternative ways to raise revenue other than fleecing taxpayers!

Jane Race; Epsom

Thursday, 10 October 2013


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Campaigners condemn plan to spend £6m this year on BSBV healthcare review

12:30pm Tuesday 8th October 2013
By Hardeep Matharu
Health campaigners have condemned plans to spend a further £6m of taxpayers' money this year on the healthcare review which is threatening to close Epsom Hospital’s vital services.
The Better Services Better Value (BSBV) healthcare review team plans to spend £436,200 of it on "media, public and training", compared to £124 in their first year, although it insists the amount is good value and will not be spent on PR.
The figures, released by BSBV, reveal the spiralling costs of the review which has earmarked both Epsom and St Helier’s maternity, accident and emergency and paediatric department for closure.
During its first two years combined the review cost just over £6m however this financial year alone the review is proposing to cost £5,989,260.
Staff costs have risen from £75,667 in 2011-12 to a whopping £830,105 in 2013-14 while communications spending has more than doubled to £502,950 this year.
The snowballing costs have sparked a fierce reaction from campaigners.
Chris Grayling MP said: "BSBV has no public support in Surrey and has lost the support of local doctors. At a time when public money is very tight, there is no possible justification in continuing to spend money on a project that looks like it is going nowhere. I'd rather spend the money on nurses instead."
Epsom health campaigner Jane Race said: "The fact that the amount spent on media, public and training in one year amounts to more than most people spend on their family home is quite outrageous.
"BSBV have used this money for a media campaign to deny and undermine public concern about the safety of their proposals. They have employed public relations staff to bombard the public via the internet through social networks like Twitter and through pre-recorded radio shows.
"They have ignored and even blocked clinicians and health campaigners who have raised safety concerns regarding their proposals. They use language such as transforming services, instead of being honest with the public that they are removing services without thought to what will replace them.
"BSBV should use available funds to research local needs and they should adapt their proposals in the light of local clinicians concerns regarding safety."
Bess Harding, health campaigner and fund coordinator for Epsom Medical Equipment Fund, said: "These figures are grossly excessive. Are they subject to a public audit? The public will want to know where this money is being spent. How much will the consultation itself cost?
"Only 15 per cent of Epsom's population would need further care or care at St George's. The remaining 85 per cent of Epsom's population need an A&E and maternity.
"Dozens of houses are being built in Epsom's cachment area so we need additional hospital support.
"Young people will move into these houses that are being built and place extra strain on the maternity services at Epsom. Epsom has a very good reputation and we want to keep it that way."
In a statement the joint directors of BSBV said the costs had been agreed in March, discussed with local councillors and only about a quarter has been spent so far, with the majority being earmaked for the public consultation - which is currently on hold.
They said: "It is expensive to run a best practice public consultation that aims to reach 2 million people across 10 boroughs. We know we need to change services and we need to reach as many people as possible to talk to them about the options.
"Should our proposals go ahead, the savings to the NHS will dwarf the costs of the BSBV programme and those savings will be reinvested to improve local health services."
A BSBV spokesman said the budget for "media, public and training" was in line with similar public consultations and covers everything from advertising public meetings, hiring venues and running a consultation website to Braille materials and training clinicians in best practice consultation and engagement and monitoring media and social media.

Monday, 30 September 2013

My response to the latest nonsense from BSBV: Why it is unsafe to close A&E, paediatrics and maternity for first time mothers!

Dear Editor,

The letter (24th September) to the Guardian from BSBV staff, quoting the Birthplace Study as showing stand alone midwife led units and home births as safe if proper assessment of risk is carried out, did not include other findings of the study which we copy here. 
It is true that the study found advantages in these settings for women who had already had a baby but you will see there are risks for first time mothers.
From the very outset, BSBV staff have glossed over these risks. At one public meeting we were told there were "just a few" transfers needed. Please see the figures below -36%-45% are not a small number. Not all these transfers will be life threatening but some will be so it is important to know how long such transfers would take.
This is why we published SECAmb data, which shows that, as admitted by BSBV staff, at least 30minutes is involved if people from the area served by Epsom are taken to alternative hospitals.
This is also why we published the Royal College guidance used in the Darzi report, which states clearly that maximum transfer time is 15-20 minutes from the time things start to go wrong in labour.
Again, responses from BSBV have been to question the validity of our ambulance data, to insist it is the time taken to get to the patient that is important (not until paramedics can carry out Caesarean sections) and vague promises of "lounges" for people who have a longer distance to travel!!
The reality is that BSBV do not want to consider points, which show our area’s residents, would be at risk if we lost Maternity and Paediatrics.
We agree a lot of adult care can be safely centralised and would provide better outcomes for patients. It is hard to understand why BSBV cannot make provision for the services that are more safely provided locally.
Even worse, they don't seem to have looked at the Darzi report, which was a massive piece of research with a whole section on Maternity.
From the Birthplace Study;
“ For women having a first baby, a planned home birth increases the risk for the baby
         For nulliparous women, there were 9.3 adverse perinatal outcome events per 1000 planned home births compared with 5.3 per 1000 births for births planned in obstetric units, and this finding was statistically significant.
         For multiparous women, birth in a non-obstetric unit setting significantly and substantially reduced the odds of having an intrapartum caesarean section, instrumental delivery or episiotomy.

For women having a first baby, there is a fairly high probability of transferring to an obstetric unit during labour or immediately after the birth.
For nulliparous women, the peri-partum transfer rate was 45% for planned home births, 36% for planned FMU births and 40% for planned AMU births