Campaigners step up efforts to save St Helier Hospital

The Keep Our St Helier Hospital (KOSHH) campaign is calling for people to write to their MP and GP and ask them not to support NHS proposals.

Sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) plans for south west London could see the closure of A&E, maternity, intensive care and cancer treatment facilities and may affect Kingston, Croydon, St George’s, Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

Campaigner Colin Crilly has been involved since KOSHH began, and was there when a previous plan to impact the hospitals,  ‘Better Services Better Value’, was stopped.

He said: “I am a campaigner because I know the government mislead the public, and do not represent us.

“To get what’s best for the wider population you have to fight for it. The NHS is a classic example of this.

“Our government wants to privatise our health system, run down the NHS, and force people to go private.”

NHS England and NHS Improvement published their expectations for commissioners and providers last month.

The guidance reads: “In 2018/19, we expect all STPs to take an increasingly prominent role in planning and managing system-wide efforts to improve services.”

It highlights the role of system-wide efficiency opportunities and a review of estates, including the ‘disposal of unused or underutilised estate’.

One way Mr Crilly believes the public can prevent the plans from going ahead is if MPs and GPs vote against them.

He said: “Your NHS needs you. Come along and find out about the imminent threats facing your hospitals and health services in South London.

“Let health bosses and politicians know that we won’t give up without a fight.”

The next KOSHH public meeting is on Thursday April 19 at Thomas Wall Centre, Sutton, at 7.30pm.

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