PRESS RELEASE: Crispin Blunt delighted at DHSC decision to fund new Epsom & St Helier Hospital Trust Acute Care Facility

The DSHC has confirmed its decision to invest £500 million in a scheme to build a new major hospital in Sutton, bringing together the Epsom & St Helier Hospitals Trust’s adult emergency department and women & children’s services in one place, including an emergency department, critical care, complex day-case facilities, maternity and paediatrics services, whilst continuing to provide urgent treatment centres with inpatient beds at its St Helier and Epsom sites.

After actively promoting plans to build this brand new acute-care facility for most of his time as MP for Banstead and Reigate Crispin Blunt is absolutely delighted by this news. 

Commenting on the decision, Crispin Blunt said: “I am absolutely delighted. This is the end of a tortuous process that was stopped by Labour under Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt for local political reasons at the request of Mitcham & Morden MP Siobhan McDonagh. That 2007 decision was so disgraceful that it was overturned on a judicial review applied for by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and Surrey County Council at my request. By the time of that judgment, Labour had tanked the economy and the money for this programme had gone.

Finally, we are back on track with the funded plan for the right capital structure that has been a blinding glimpse of the obvious for some time but thwarted by local politics driven by un-evidenced sentiment. 

This restoration of good infrastructure provision in the widest community interest of all the people served by the Hospital Trust represents a considerable commitment by the NHS funded from the public purse.

This is extremely good news, not only for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Trust, but also for the NHS, and for local residents in need of state-of-the-art acute health care.

Residents in the north of the Borough have had to put up with shaming hospital building quality for the 21st century. That era is finally coming to an end and Banstead, Chipstead, Kingswood, and Tadworth will have a world-class centre on their doorstep. A centre in the right place for 400,000 people will support the world-renowned Royal Marsden, securing that centre of excellence too. 

Daniel Elkeles, CEO, and the commissioning team at the Trust have had the vision to conceive this facility as part of a reorganisation of Epsom and St Helier Hospital’s overall health care offer and have clearly proved the value of their vision to NHS Improvement and NHS England in their STP Capital Funding Bid.

The new facility will dramatically improve access to the latest acute-care facilities and to the highest calibre medical staff for residents in a wide catchment area, including those living in my constituency. The location of the new facility, in the grounds of The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, will also enable acute care medical teams to benefit from the highest level of cancer care. 

 The Conservative government is showing its commitment to investing in the NHS, making an investment that has the maximum impact on health care for the public. I am delighted at last with the decisiveness with which the Secretary of State has enabled this tortuous bid process to be concluded. I fully support his commitment to release the funding as quickly as possible so that the project can now progress to the next stage.”

More information about the Trust’s plans can be found below


What is being proposed:

St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust wants to make sure local people have the best quality health services for generations to come, in modern, safe buildings with the majority of services provided on both hospital sites and in the community, close to people’s homes.

Its commissioners (NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton, and Merton) have come together as they want to ensure that acute hospital services remain in their combined geographies for decades to come.

Without closing any existing hospitals, the proposal is to build a new unit in the area for its sickest and most at-risk patients, while still keeping the majority of services on both the St Helier and Epsom sites. There are no proposals to reduce beds, the work the commissioners are leading is predicting a small increase in beds in the local area.

The Commissioners are looking to address the significant challenges at Epsom and St Helier hospitals around clinical standards, finances, and estates. These challenges have been well publicised and discussed over many years and together they are committed to resolving these for the long term.

GPs, hospital doctors, nurses and other clinical professionals in the area have put together the vision and the new clinical model based on evidence and best practice, to make sure they can deliver high-quality healthcare in the future. This model will mean that:

· The majority of people (85%) using their local hospital will see no change to where they receive their care.

· For people who are acutely ill or are at risk of being acutely ill (15%), the Trust is proposing bringing treatment for acute emergencies, births and the seriously ill into one new facility, located in Sutton. This new facility would run: the major element of A&E, acute medicine, critical care, emergency surgery, hospital births, and inpatient paediatrics.

Epsom hospital and St Helier hospital will continue to run the majority of services regardless of these proposed changes. These will include: urgent treatment centers, outpatients,day-case surgery, antenatal and postnatal clinics, chemotherapy, dialysis, beds for people who are medically stable, endoscopy, imaging, and diagnostics.

Land Sale:

Surplus land in the grounds of Epsom Hospital has recently been sold. It contained derelict buildings and was not needed by the Trust and will not be needed in the future. It will soon be home to a unique later living community for the over 65s. This delivers on the commitment made to sell the land for social care use rather than just solely residential housing. There will also be the ability, should it be needed, for NHS patients to access some of the accommodation in the development. Importantly, this will be an extension of the Epsom community rather than a closed-off development and will benefit local residents and staff as well as support around 50 new jobs

For the Trust, the land sale means more efficient use of the space and land that it owns, and will save money on maintaining and securing disused buildings. Furthermore, it has unlocked in excess of £15 million of investment into existing buildings at Epsom Hospital and building a new facility for clinical administrative support staff working at Epsom.