Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trust U-turn on St Helier and Sutton Hospital

After millions of pounds wasted planning for a new hospital on the Sutton Hospital site(which was only stopped by the then Secretary of State Patricia Hewitt in December 2005) the Epsom and St Helier NHS trust have finally abandoned any plans they seemed to have had for the site. They now seem to be looking at a refurbishment option for St Helier, it is clear that even the re-build of St Helier is off the agenda. I enclose details below from the latest newsletter of Better health care closer to home.

We have received a report demonstrating that a totally new built hospital on
either the Sutton or St Helier sites now looks to be unaffordable under the NHS
capital regime. The margin of unaffordability is such that there is no prospect of
bridging the gap.

We have also looked at a mixed new build and refurbishment option at St
Helier, moving most bed and outpatient facilities into a new building replacing
Fergusson House, and upgrading the main building. The cost of this option
would be less than new build, and while there is still an affordability gap, it is
much less than other options we have looked at.

We are not commissioning further work on the new build options for the general
hospital and we are concentrating on coming up with the right solution for
improving St Helier hospital. This would need to be phased and have a number
of elements: a short term investment of £1.45m to upgrade women and
children’s services; the development of a local care centre on the site (which
would include outpatient services and a re-designed A&E department); and a
new ward block within the affordability envelope we have established, subject to
confirmation of its feasibility.


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