Independent watchdog arranges opportunities for Surrey residents to influence where new health facility for the sickest people will be built

6th September 2017

The local independent watchdog for health and social care has arranged for residents to give their feedback on proposals for which existing hospital site a new purpose-built facility should be built on (Epsom Hospital, St Helier Hospital or Sutton Hospital).

Epsom and St Helier hospital bosses are working on plans to secure £300-400 m to invest in a new specialist facility for acutely sick patients, where majors A&E, inpatient beds for children, births and complex emergency surgery can be delivered.

As part of this work, Healthwatch Surrey will be running showcase events, drop-in events at community, hospital and high-street locations across the local area and hosting an online survey to get as many views as possible. They will use the results of all this feedback to ensure the views are independently reviewed and shared with and considered by the trust.

Kate Scribbins, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Surrey said:

“We have been assured by the trust that the location of the new facility could be on any one of their three sites and that services currently provided on each of the sites will remain.

“We would therefore urge local people to take this early and important opportunity to have their say on how and where they would like to use their hospital services in the future.”

Healthwatch Surrey will use their independence to gather views in several ways:

• Four, one-hour ‘showcase’ events at Epsom Downs Racecourse at 8am, 11am, 4pm and 7pm on Thursday 28th September. These events will offer people the opportunity to hear about the plans, ask questions of Directors from Epsom and St Helier and give their views.

• Healthwatch staff and volunteers will be available at six drop-in events at community, hospital and high-street locations across the local area in September:

o Epsom Hospital (main entrance), Wednesday 6th September, 8am-8pm
o Banstead High Street, Friday 8th September, 8am-8pm
o Cobham High Street, Friday 15th September, 8am-8pm
o Epsom and Ewell Family Fun Day, Sunday 17th September, 11.30am-4.30pm, Hook Road Arena
o Leatherhead Market, Thursday 21st September, 9am-3pm,
o Dorking High Street, Wednesday 27th September, 8am-8pm

• Online video and survey, available on the Healthwatch Surrey website here.

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust said:

“We want local people to join the conversation and have their say about creating a brand new, £300-£400 million acute facility. We are at a very early stage in the Epsom and St Helier 2020-2030 ambitions, but hearing the views and opinions of the local people we serve will give us the best chance of securing a sustainable future for all of our hospitals, as well as creating a new state-of-the-art facility to care for generations of people to come.

“I believe that this is a very exciting opportunity for local people, our staff and our patients, and I would urge everyone to come and find out more.”

Healthwatch Surrey’s Kate Scribbins added:

“We are here to ensure the voices of everyone are heard. Everything you share with us will be kept anonymous, so you can be honest about what you think.”

Residents can also find out more and have their say here.