Epsom Hospital – What’s Really Happening
The campaign to protect Epsom Hospital has been a great team effort over the past twenty years, with involvement from across the community and across the political spectrum. Without that effort we would have lost all our acute services to St Helier a long time ago.
For the past three years the leadership of the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust has been arguing that, because of the condition of many of the buildings at both Epsom and St Helier, during the 2020s there should be a brand new state of the art acute hospital built to serve the whole of the area it covers.
The Government has now agreed to provide £500m to build that new acute centre, as well as to upgrade other buildings at both Epsom and St Helier.
The local NHS is a long way from deciding how that money should be spent, and deciding on a location – though it is an open secret that they would prefer to build it adjoining the Royal Marsden at Sutton – which is situated close to the roundabout at the top of our section of the A217.
In the meantime, there are no major service changes planned at either Epsom or St Helier. The Trust’s plan for the years 2020-25 envisages all the key current acute services remaining on both sites.
We expect the consultation on how to spend the £500m and where to be held next year, and we will be campaigning vigorously for the main investment to be at Epsom, which is at the centre of the area covered by the Trust. Even after the recent land sale, independent analysis shows that there is space for this to happen.
Whatever the final outcome of all of this, Epsom will remain open, and with new investment is expected to have more beds than it does at present. But we think that a £500m investment in our local hospitals is a good thing, as we want the most modern NHS facilities for our area.
All this, though, is years away. Reports that both hospitals will be downgraded next year are inaccurate, and in fact would be impossible for the local NHS – it would cause chaos in other local hospitals which would not have the capacity to cope. And at a time when the NHS is set to receive an extra £400 million a week boost to its budgets, there would be no need for such a downgrade anyway.