An expansion of Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust could see emergency and critical care services transferred to a new facility in Sutton. 

The Trust has submitted a pre-consultation plan to NHS England proposing the establishment of a separate facility dedicated to high-risk patients on the site of Epsom, St Helier or a new location in Sutton.

On the basis of research, the document provisionally ranks the option of building at a new location highest, which would result in the downgrading or closure of services at St Helier or Epsom.

Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake said: “Tens of thousands of local residents want to see services retained at St Helier and within the borough. It’s a great local hospital with dedicated, hardworking staff, but many of its buildings are in need of modernisation.

“I am pleased that the local NHS Trust are looking to build a brand new, modern health facility in our area -- either at St Helier, Epsom Hospital or Sutton Hospital. It would house A&E and critical care services, dealing with emergency cases and looking after the most at-risk patients.

“I am fighting tooth and nail to get this much-needed new facility located at St Helier and I will continue to fight alongside local residents to protect and improve our hospital. It is my top priority -- always has been, always will be.”

“Wherever the new facility is located, St Helier will retain the vast majority of its current services. That is certainty we have long called for so it is welcome.”

Under the proposals, Epsom and St Helier would continue to run the majority of services as they do currently, covering 85% of patients. 

For emergency cases and high-risk patients, the remaining 15%, services would be housed in a new facility which could open as early as 2020. 

The leader of Merton Council, Cllr Stephen Ambritis, has expressed opposition to the submission, which could see people in the borough having to travel further for vital services.

He said: "We have a long-standing commitment to ensure that residents of Merton have access to a full range of NHS acute services on the St Helier Hospital site, including a blue light A&E and consultant-led maternity service.

“We could not be clearer in our opposition to any closure or downgrade of services at St Helier Hospital.

"I’m extremely disappointed that the Trust and the CCG appear to prefer an option that would remove essential services at St Helier.

"This is despite the overwhelming evidence of local need, and the clear opposing voice of Merton’s residents through the various engagement processes undertaken to date.”