The group of GPs set to take over SW London healthcare have refused to answer whether they support the closure of St Helier hospital’s frontline services.

In April Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be responsible for designing local health services and therefore any changes proposed by the Better Services Better (BSBV) healthcare review must be agreed by them.

Although they expressed concerns in May last year Sutton CCG has remained tight lipped ever since and said that until the process is complete they cannot comment further.

The CCGs involved in the review which also includes Croydon, Merton, Wandsworth, Kingston and Richmond all say they are committed to the BSBV programme.

A statement from all the CCGs said: “We recognise that the local NHS needs to change, so that we have high quality local health services that are safe and sustainable in the long term.

“We have been involved in the BSBV process from the start and from 1 April we will be leading the shaping of local healthcare, including BSBV, and continuing to engage with local people. 

“While there is a lot of work still being done we are committed to the BSBV programme, which is designed to improve care for our patients.” 

It has been rumoured the recent postponement in the review was because Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is opposed to the review.

However, Miles Freeman, chief officer at Surrey Downs CCG said: “We believe there is a real opportunity to improve care for local people and we continue to work with colleagues through the Better Services Better Value programme to find the right solution for local patients and for Epsom.

“A number of proposals have emerged as a result of the work that has happened so far – but nothing has been decided and these are only possible proposals at this stage.

“At the programme Board last week we talked about progress to date and some additional areas of work that we feel are needed to further develop these proposals. Only once this work is completed will we be able to fully understand what they potentially mean for our patients.

“We understand the current uncertainty is worrying for local people and following this further work we will be encouraging people to tell us what they think as part of a three month public consultation later in the year.”