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
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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.

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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."