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War of words over threat to Kingston Hospital's childrens' ward
Edward Davey’s declaration of victory in the campaign to save a Kingston Hospital children’s ward has been questioned by political opponents who said the Sunshine ward was still threatened.
The ward was in the frame to be shut by the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review which aims to improve services and save money.
The 26 in patient beds in the Sunshine ward could be closed and moved to St George’s Hospital Tooting if recommendations of the BSBV NHS review are pushed through.
Mr Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, said last month the Sunshine ward had been saved.
But Richard Donnelly, secretary of Kingston Trades Council, which represents local trade unions, said: “Ed Davey has tried to claim victory against plans to close Sunshine – but nothing has actually changed from the proposals.
“SW London NHS still wants to close down the in-patients’ services for local children – and that means parents will have to commute to Tooting to see their sick kids.”
Better Services Better Value declined to comment on whether it had changed its proposals since the launch of the Save Sunshine ward campaign.
Mr Davey insisted the proposals had changed since his campaign with a “paediatric assessment unit” changed to a “short stay ward”.
He also said the review team were now on the record as saying the “vast majority” of children treated now at Kingston would continue to be treated there, very different from how the original proposals were explained and understood by medical staff at Kingston Hospital.
He said: “I’m finding it irritating when people are effectively accusing me of lying when I’m repeating things from the hospital.
“I’m clear from what I have read and been told they have changed significantly.”
The plans will be subject to public consultation later this year.