The future of healthcare in Sutton was discussed during a lively meeting.

Healthwatch Sutton organised a Question Time-style meeting where members of the public were given the chance to quiz health bosses and politicians on the future of health provision in Sutton.

The event, which took place on Thursday evening in Wallington, was disrupted by hecklers and has received mixed reviews - organisers have heralded it as a success, while campaign group Keep Our St Helier Hospital (KOSH) branded it a farce.

Prior to the event, Healthwatch was criticised for allowing questions to be submitted through Carshalton and Wallington's Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake's website. Although Mr Brake said the questions were not screened, critics said the event was politically biased.

During the event, the panel, which also included St Helier Hospital chief executive Chrisha Alagaratnam, Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow and Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman Dr Brendan Hudson, fielded questions on the future of St Helier's A&E, the role of the CCG and more.

Despite repeated interruptions from hecklers, David Williams, who chaired the event, said he was pleased with how it went.

He said: "I believe we can count what was a disrupted meeting a sound success. The audience were given vital information that was offered by a high-profile panel."

Disruptions largely came from people accusing the organisers of the event of having a political bias although most members of the audience remained quiet. One audience member said the hecklers were the ones who politicised the event.

Campaigners from KOSHH said the event did not give them enough opportunity to ask questions and said questions that were asked were dealt with too quickly.

A spokesman called the event "farcical" and added: "We maintain our stance that using Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake’s website for RSVP administration and for submitting questions in advance of the meeting was a mistake.

"After the 15 pre-approved questions were answered quickly, the chair did allow for limited questions from the floor but abruptly called the meeting to a close."

Siobhan Tate, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Carshalton and Wallington, said: "There were four political groups at the meeting [The Liberal Democrats, Labour, Keep Our St Helier Hospital and Keep Our NHS Public] and only one was allowed to speak."  

A further similar meeting is planned for later in the year.