Today is decision day for three hospitals in south west London as a panel meets to recommend which should lose its vital services.

As part of the NHS Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review, either St Helier, Croydon University or Kingston hospital will lose their Accident and Emergency and maternity departments.

A panel of 60, including representatives from each hospital trust, local authority members and community representatives, is meeting today to score each hospital as part of the decision into which should lose their vital services.

The scoring panel’s recommendation and a financial appraisal will be considered by the Better Services Better Value programme board, which will make a recommendation to the joint board of NHS SW London PCTs on June 7.

A final recommendation will be put to public consultation and is expected to take about three months.

The site which loses its A&E and maternity will host a new planned surgery centre and a “range of other services”.

In 2010/11, St Helier’s A&E and maternity wards treated 84,926 people, Croydon University treated 110,065 patients and 88,186 were treated at Kingston Hospital.

In March 2010, £219m was approved for a major redevelopment of St Helier hospital including a new state-of-the-art hospital building with 346 beds.

When asked about the £219m, Mr Michael Bailey, senior hospital surgeon and Acute Medical Director for BSBV said: "It will entirely depend on what services are put on the St Helier site as to exactly how that £219m is spent.

"The development on St Helier needs to be suitable for whatever services are provided from St Helier.

"BSBV is going to change the services at all four of our hospitals - some of them will have more emergency activity and maternity and one of them will have more elected activity.

"So I can’t tell you how that £219m will be spent [at St Helier] until we have decided which hospital will provide which service."


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