Keep Our St Helier Hospital (KOSHH) Press Release:
KOSHH welcome Merton Council’s Announcement today that they oppose the South West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).
10th of April 2017
The KOSHH (Keep Our St Helier Hospital) campaign welcomes Merton Council's announcement today that they oppose the SW London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), and we hope that this will be swiftly followed by similar announcements from the other Boroughs involved in the SW London "Footprint" (Sutton, Croydon, Kingston, Richmond and Wandsworth Councils).
Many other Local Authorities around the country have declared their opposition to their STP. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham having been one of the first to do so, and more than twenty others have followed.
Councils are directly involved with the process and their opposition could be critical in the fight to stop these "Slash Trash and Privatise" Plans.
We are delighted to learn that Merton Council have joined KOSHH in their calls to local residents to show their opposition to these dangerous, life threatening plans. Merton Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Alambritis has said that "he, and the Council back KOSHH up to the hilt".
We are however concerned that this announcement appears to confine itself to opposing the closure of one or more of the A&E Units in SW London.
The STP for SW London (South West London Five Year Forward Plan) makes it clear that they are looking at reducing the five Acute sites we currently have, to four, or even three sites). (Page 28)
From Page 28 of SW London 5 Year Forward Plan
By this means, they are looking to cut the number of A&E Units, Full Maternity Units, Children's Departments, Intensive Care Units, Acute Medicine, and Emergency Surgery Departments.
The South West London "Five Year Forward Plan" makes it clear that St Helier Hospital is top of their list for closure (or downgrading to some sort of health Centre) when they say "Its 1930s structure prevents it ever being made compliant with modern standards for safe and high quality healthcare". (page 31)
From Page 31 of SW London 5 Year Forward Plan
This is at odds with their reported excellent outcomes and the claims in the Standard on 5th April 2017, that St Helier became the quickest in London at treating A&E patients.
The only Hospital in South West London that appears to be safe under the STP, is St Georges in Tooting (page 31).
The STP also includes plans to drastically reduce the type of items that GPs can prescribe including amongst many others, Special baby milk for those suffering milk allergies and Gluten free foods for Celiac Disease patients.
They also intend to stop all IVF and specialised fertility treatments, and to make it very difficult to obtain Hip and Knee Replacements, Cataract treatments, pain killing injections, tonsillectomies, Carpal Tunnel Surgery and many other procedures.
Whilst we in KOSHH are pleased that Merton has made their opposition to the plans to close one or two of our local A&E departments, we urge all the boroughs that are part of the SW London Sustainability and Transformation Plan to oppose it, in its entirety.
There is nothing good about this STP.