Surrey residents will get a chance to have their say on the development of plans for a £500 million boost to NHS Hospitals in Epsom, St Helier and Sutton.

On Monday (January 6), the Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) announced their decision to launch a public consultation on the funds.

The funding, which was announced in September last year, will go towards the building of a brand new specialist emergency care hospital to be built on one of three existing NHS Hospital sites — Sutton, St Helier or Epsom.

Refurbishments at all three hospitals will also take place with the new funds according to the proposals.

The consultation is due to start on Wednesday (January 8) and will run through April 1.

Residents who take part will be asked to give their opinions on a range of options for the new funding, including perceived impacts of the current proposals on families in the area.

Merton GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Merton CCG Dr Andrew Murray lauded the chance to modernize NHS services in the area and urged residents to have their say.

"This £500m investment gives us the chance to develop a brand new 21st century hospital facility for local people for generations to come," he said.

"One thing is clear - if we don’t change how we provide our hospital services, the quality and safety of care for people is going to get worse – we already face a shortage of doctors, and never-ending repair costs for buildings older than the NHS.

“It’s really important that local people look at the evidence and give us their views," he added.

Dr Ruth Charlton, Joint Medical Director for Epsom St Helier NHS Trust, meanwhile pointed out the dedication of the Epsom and St Helier staff while praising the new proposals.

"Our hospital staff work extremely hard day-in day-out, and it’s down to their dedication and commitment that our hospitals manage to provide a good service for patients.

"However, we cannot go on relying on the goodwill of our staff," she said.

"I want my most unwell patients to be able to get a fast diagnosis and start treatment more quickly to speed-up their recovery.

"These proposals set out how bigger teams of expert hospital staff at a specialist emergency care hospital could do this," Dr Charlton added.

The location for the proposed new specialist emergency care hospital will also be queried at the consultations.

The CCG leaders have already made their preference for the emergency care hospital to be located in Sutton clear.

They said that the building work would be more straightforward on the Sutton site, taking four years, as opposed to an estimated six for Epsom and seven at St Helier.

The draft CCG document adds that building in Sutton would allow for three urgent treatment centres rather than two at either Epsom or St Helier Hospitals.

Regardless of the location, the CCG document stressed the continuity of existing care at all three NHS hospitals with the extra £500 million in funding.

85 per cent of all services will stay at their existing locations, a spokesperson said.

All outcomes guarantee a £80 million in funding for the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals, they added.

Among the questions in the public consultation will be the above discussion on the location of the new emergency care hospital.

Other questions address residents' opinions on the impact the existing proposals will have on their family, transport links to healthcare services in the area, plus an open box to submit new proposals before the final decision on what to do with the £500 million in funding is made.

Questionnaires that will be free for residents to download, fill in and send back to the CCG will be available on this website: from Wednesday.