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Public to have final say on Kingston Hospital children's ward closure
The public will make the final decision on whether a children’s ward in Kingston Hospital will be closed and moved to Tooting.
If an NHS review’s recommendations go ahead, Sunshine Ward’s 26 beds would close, as would 18 beds at St Helier and 12 beds at Croydon, in the next four years.
Families and children would travel to what the review described as a new world class hospital at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, including accommodation for families, for stays longer than 24 hours.
Details of the Better Service Better Value plans, which include axeing A+E and maternity at St Helier Hospital while finding £64.5m of savings across south west London, first emerged two months ago.
The clinicians involved in the review approved the recommendations this week saying a centralised specialist service would save lives despite a shortage of paediatricians.
Bianca Effemey, of hospital charity Momentum which has invested money in the Sunshine ward, has said she opposed the plans.
They will go in front of the joint boards of SW London PCTs in September for approval.
A public consultation on the whole Sunshine Ward will begin on September 17.
Kingston Hospital would still have a dedicated children’s A+E open 24/7 with short-stay beds for up to 24 hours.
Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey who is campaigning to save Sunshine Ward said: "We need to hear more about the quality care that is on offer.
“How much better is it than now and how many people will be having to make that journey? There are no answers to these questions and that’s not good enough.
"They have not worked out their numbers. The proposal they are offering might be okay but could be awful – we just don’t know. Failure to answer these questions is disturbing.”
Dr Paul Alford GP and co-chair of the clinical working group, said: “We propose to create a single centre of excellence for the small number of children who need to stay in hospital longer than 24 hours or require more specialist inpatient care, including intensive care.”
The finances of the move have not yet been made public by the review.