Improving Healthcare Together Programme Update and Public Consultation
Health leaders from NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have agreed to launch a public consultation on proposals to invest £500 million to improve hospital services. The three CCGs met in public on 6th January and agreed to launch a public consultation on 8th January on three potential options for the location of a brand-new specialist emergency care hospital – on the Epsom, St Helier or Sutton hospital sites. Sutton was agreed by the CCGs as a preferred option for the consultation, but health leaders were clear that all three options could be delivered by the NHS.
The new 21st century hospital facility would bring together six services for the most unwell patients, as well as births in hospital. All three options would see the majority of services (85%) staying at Epsom Hospital and St Helier Hospital, with an investment of at least £80 million in the current buildings. Both hospitals would run round the clock, 365 days a year, with urgent treatment centres, inpatient and outpatient services.
The CCGs have set out their preferred option for the new state-of-the-art hospital facility to be Sutton Hospital, next to the Royal Marsden specialist cancer hospital. Services provided at the specialist emergency care hospital would include A&E, critical care, emergency surgery, births in hospital and inpatient children’s beds. The consultation proposals explain that this option would have the greatest benefit for the most people, the least overall impact on travel for older people and those from deprived communities, while also having the smallest increase in average travel time for the most people. It would also be the easiest and fastest to build – taking around four years, rather than up to seven for the alternative options.
They are now urging people to give their views between Wednesday 8th January and Wednesday 1st April 2020. As well as responding online directly to the consultation questionnaire, people can get involved through a whole range of different ways designed to make sure the NHS hears as many voices, from as many communities as possible, including those who find it difficult to go to meetings or respond in writing.
You can read a full copy of their engagement plans here and below they have briefly outlined some of the ways people can get involved with the consultation and talk to them about their proposals:
• A series of 9 public listening events- open invites to share information on proposed options for change, answer specific questions from the public to increase understanding of the consultation and proposals, as well as invite and listen to feedback and encourage people to respond to the consultation questionnaire.
• Pop-up stalls in busy places- to raise awareness of the consultation, share information and encourage people to ask questions and complete the consultation questionnaire.
• Funding voluntary groups- to help communities with various protected characteristics and seldom heard groups engage with the consultation.
• Targeted outreach work- engagement activities with groups such as older people and deprived communities as well as seldom heard groups like people with learning disabilities.
• Telephone surveys- based on the questions within the consultation questionnaire and will target a representative range of views from the combined geographies and neighbouring areas of those who may not otherwise contribute to the consultation.
Please do let them know if you would like further information on specific engagement activities taking place in your area.
A copy of the full consultation document and a consultation questionnaire can be accessed from improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk. Alternatively, a hard copy can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
They are keen to emphasise that no decisions will be made on the future of Epsom and St Helier hospitals until the spring/summer when the CCGs will consider the views of local people and all the clinical and financial evidence and would be happy to meet with you or arrange a phone call to talk through the planned engagement activities and the consultation process.
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In 2017 Healthwatch Surrey worked on behalf of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust to share their proposed plans for future changes to their hospitals, and offer residents the opportunity to feed back to our independent organisation.
The Epsom and St Helier 2020- 2030 video explains the reasons why the hospitals would like to change their estates and gives you information on how Epsom and St Helier Hospitals think this could be achieved.
What we did
1. Showcase events
We held 4 showcase events throughout the day at Epsom Downs Racecourse in the Downs View Suite on Thursday 28th September 2017 at 8am, 11am, 4pm and 7pm.
The showcase events started with attendees watching the Epsom and St Helier 2020- 2030 video on a big screen. After this residents had their chance to fill out a questionnaire to give feedback on how they felt about the proposed changes. The directors of Epsom hospital also attended the event to anwer any questions.
2. Listening events
We were out and about at 6 different locations across Surrey for a grand total of 60 hours informing the public about the proposed changes and asking what they thought.
3. The survey
We also had a survey running for feedback on the proposed changes. If you would like to leave your feedback on the proposed changes, please contact the trust directly.
What happened afterwards?
We have now produced a report demonstrating our findings. Please click here to be taken to our Project Report page.
If you have any questions about the work we did, please contact us.