Under Threat

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Plans by NHS bosses put Surbiton Hospital under threat

Cold weather, roof leaks, a dodgy standby generator and fears of MRSA infection were all reasons cited by Kingston Primary Care Trust (PCT) for its sudden urge to partially or totally axe services at Surbiton Hospital.
  But the real reason is a gaping black hole in the PCT’s finances.
  Closing the hospital will save it more than £300,000 in essential repairs immediately, and it will clear the way for redevelopment of this extremely valuable site in Ewell Road.
  At a public meeting on Friday, attended by just 20 people, the trust claimed it could not afford the repair bill and, for the safety of its in-patients, it must close the 37 beds in the next two months before winter sets in.
  It is planning to consult the public on just two options, closing all the beds or closing the whole hospital – a hospital which has served the community for almost 70 years and was built with donations from local people.
  PCT chief executive, Paul Holmes denied that redeveloping the site was a factor at this stage. “The future of the site is a separate discussion. The issue is moving patients before winter starts,” he said.
  Tory and Lib Dem politicians are deeply alarmed by the move.
  Kevin Davis, leader of the borough’s Conservative group said: “This whole process is a disgrace and even a banana republic would consult before it closed the hospital. We need to see a full public consultation take place before any changes are made to the health care of the people in Surbiton.
  “We fully back the Surrey Comet petition and we are in the process of setting up a public meeting so as many people as possible can attend. We will have more information on that very soon.”
  MP for Kingston and Surbiton, Edward Davey has said the hospital retains potential for future investment, and at an urgent meeting on Monday asked Paul Holmes for a categorical assurance that the hospital land will not be sold off.
  “My agenda is not just saving the hospital but massive investment. It has the potential to be something brilliant, with the right kind of vision, and there are sources of both national and local finances that can be drawn upon.”

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