Monday, 25 January 2010

Cuts at Kingston Hospital threaten Elmbridge

Today, it was reported that Kingston Hospital's Accident & Emergency and Maternity units have been identified for closure, as part of a London-wide NHS review.

Since Elmbridge does not have an Accident and Emergency Unit, residents (particularly in the north and east of the borough) rely on Kingston hospital. If confirmed, it would represent a further downgrading of local NHS services - and a serious blow for Elmbridge residents. It offers further evidence of the need for a change of direction in the way the NHS is run, with too many centrally-imposed targets and not enough accountability to local communities.

Under plans - now shelved - to give Kingston hospital 'foundation trust' status, the hospital would have been run by a board including locally-elected governors. That would introduce a direct democratic element, an important safeguard for local communities against arbitrary decision-making. Governors would be directly elected from Elmbridge, as well as the other communities served by the hospital. But Kingston hospital's bid for foundation status has been put back until after the current review, so this much-needed reform lies in the long grass. That compounds lack of transparency with a democratic deficit in the way local NHS services are being run.

This government has consistently short-changed Surrey of funding for vital public services such as health, shackled doctors and nurses with arbitrary and excessive targets and shrouded critical decision-making in secrecy.


Anonymous said...

A petition has already been set up for people of south west london / Surrey borders to fight this.

Although it was started by the Lib Dems, I can't see any harm in signing it. The more petitioners, the better.

When you consider that people in Epsom are expected to use the St Helier in Merton, you can see that the area surrounding London is being abandoned by health planners. We are all expected to travel hours to get to an A&E.

No doubt, it all looks close on a map to external consultants who have no idea just how long these journeys into London can take, given the congestion. All the moreso, given that there are no tube lines out here.

Post a Comment

The site policy is to publish all comments, unless abusive or anonymous.

Welcome to Dom's Blog

To sign up for my monthly bulletins, click here.

For my Privacy & Cookies policy, click here.

Dom's Podcasts

Watch Dom's Hardtalk interview here.

To watch Dom's recent podcasts, visit his You Tube channel here.

Local Campaigns

Local issues, National debate

Blog Archive

Follow Dom on Facebook