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The Epsom and St Helier Trust, and its new Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, have announced that they will retain Accident and Emergency and Maternity services at Epsom hospital for at least the next five years. In the meantime they will be concentrating on their application to become what is called a Foundation Trust, which basically makes the Trust an independent, though still public sector organisation, with much greater local control over what it does.

I think this is good news for us locally. It doesn’t provide guarantees in the longer term, but it should mean that the hospital enjoys a period of stability. I expect there to be a real effort to make all the different parts of the local health service work in a more integrated way and save money that way rather than trying to simply close services. Fingers crossed for the longer term future.