29 July 2016
Following a comprehensive review of community hospital services, and a wide-scale public consultation to seek people’s views, today NHS Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body made a decision on next steps.
Taking into account findings from the review process, feedback received as part of the public consultation and further work in some areas, the decision made by the Governing Body is to continue to explore relocating services currently based at the current New Epsom and Ewell Community Hospital (NEECH) to Epsom Hospital. Under this option (known as ‘Option 2’) the community ward and the Poplars would transfer to Epsom Hospital and some other outpatient services would be transferred to other nearby locations. Services at Dorking and Molesey Hospitals would stay the same and Leatherhead Hospital would be developed as a planned care centre, with a wider range of services available.
Dr Claire Fuller, Clinical Chair at Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group explains:
“Over the past months we have spent a great deal of time looking at how services are provided at the five community hospitals in our area. We have spoken to staff, patients and local people, both as part of the review and during the public consultation, and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views with us.
“Today the Governing Body made the decision to explore, with partners, the transfer of the community ward at the New Epsom and Ewell Community Hospital and The Poplars physiotherapy unit onto the Epsom Hospital site. Services at Dorking Hospital and Molesey Hospital would stay as they are and Leatherhead Hospital would be developed as a planned care centre, offering a wider range of outpatient services to local people in future.
“This decision is based on the improvements in patient care we saw when the community ward temporarily transferred onto the Epsom Hospital site in 2014. This gave patients access to a much wider range of diagnostic services including x-rays, scans and other tests, and we also saw reduced lengths of stay in hospital, meaning that patients were able to return home, with the right care, much more quickly.
“As part of the consultation people raised concerns about accessibility and journey times. We listened to this feedback and have since looked carefully at potential journey times under each of the options. In addition to the clinical benefits, this option appears to offer the most accessible solution, reducing journey times for some areas and increasing access to the community hospitals for the population in and around Epsom and Banstead, which has a high population density and a high population profile of those over 65 years.
“Our decision takes into account the findings of the review process, feedback we received as part of the public consultation, and further work we have undertaken in response to what people have told us.
“Whilst the Governing Body has agreed to explore this option, further work will now be needed to link this decision into the work happening at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, particularly in relation to their estates review. Given this work, we don’t have a timescale for transferring services but the decision made today gives us a clear way forward. It means we can now start working with the trust and CSH Surrey on next steps, which feels very exciting.” Dr Fuller added.
Further details, and copies of the Governing Body paper which summarises the outcome of the review and the public consultation, can be found on the CCG website: /about-us/our-governing-body/
To see the independent consultation report, which summarises all of the feedback we received click here: /media/153533/05a-chsr-consultation-report-final.pdf