A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Common sense prevails over A&E and Maternity services at Croydon University Hospital
30/08/2012 13:51:00


As regular readers of this blog will know, the NHS in south west London is currently reviewing its services. The review is called Better Services Better Value and yesterday the review team published its conclusions. It is recommending:

· major, sustained improvements in GP and community services - many more services delivered in GP surgeries, community settings and people’s homes, including specific support for people with long term conditions and people nearing the end of their lives;

· centralising emergency care in three expanded emergency departments to be located at Croydon University, Kingston and St George’s Hospitals, each with an integrated urgent care centre and children’s A&E. St Helier Hospital to retain a stand-alone urgent care centre which could treat up to half of its current A&E patients;

· centralising maternity care in three expanded, obstetric-led maternity units with one to one midwife care to be located at Croydon University, Kingston and St George’s Hospitals with co-located midwife-led units;

· a state-of-the-art planned care centre at St Helier Hospital for non-emergency surgery for patients across south west London (kept separate from emergency care so that emergencies do not disrupt planned operations); and

· dedicated children’s assessment wards at Croydon University, Kingston and St George’s Hospitals able to provide assessment and treatment to most children with urgent health problems. For the sickest children and those requiring a longer hospital stay, specialist paediatric staff will be centralised at St George’s Hospital.

This recommendation will be considered by the Joint Boards of South West London Primary Care Trusts and the NHS London Board on 27 September and, if they agree, a public consultation should begin on 1 October.

I am obviously delighted that the review team have rejected the option of closing either the A&E Department or the Maternity Unit at Croydon University Hospital. It would have been frankly incredible for anyone to suggest that a place of Croydon's size should have a hospital without such services. I campaigned against this idea when it was considered under the last Labour Government and I would have done the same if it had been proposed under this Government.

But the review team's recommendation does more than safeguard our existing services - if implemented, it would lead to significant improvements in the form of more senior doctors in these units. There is clear evidence that concentrating the available professional staff in a particular part of the country in fewer units in this way leads to better medical outcomes.

It is important that we don't take anything for granted though. If the recommendation is approved, it is very important that as many Croydon residents as possible support the proposals because there is bound to be opposition from those who currently use the A&E Department and Maternity Unit at St Helier. I will post further on this subject after the Board meeting on 27 September.

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Readers' Comments

On 30/08/2012 15:33:00 Paddy Blewer wrote:
Mayday has needed more investment for years. I have been the recipient of dangerous service there due to the massive strain put on the staff that ended in a misdiagnosis, which if it hadn't been reversed by my GP could have involved major surgery.

I'm not alone in this either - many friends have had such poor service, they now do what I recently did and go to St Helier. Slightly further away than Mayday, but I feel far more confident in their diagnostic and provision of care capabilities.

This is not a criticism of Mayday staff, who clearly do their best. It is simply a case of capacity. Croydon is too big to just have one hospital - especially when it comes to A&E and Maternity.

We shouldn't be asking "which hospital loses a department". We should be asking, how do we find the capital to invest in enhanced services?

On 30/08/2012 19:20:00 Tony Martin wrote:
Patients spending more time, in the ambulance, going from Sutton to Croydon University or St Georges, would mean the NHS will have to buy more Ambulances and hire more paramedics to cover the workload.

Having a longer distance to travel to an A&E department, people will be less likely to make their own way and more likely to call an ambulance, putting yet more burden on the ambulances.

This government wastes so much money on foreign aid, the European Union and pointless wars. There is so much money to through around on the international stage, but when it comes to spending money at home, we get told there is a recession.

To save money on the NHS budget, you could charge health tourists for their treatment, Bring in an opt out rather than opt in system, for organ donors, meaning people won’t need to spent so much time in hospital waiting for a match and ban first cousin marriages as these are known to greatly increase the chances of hereditary birth defects.




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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG