Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Watch out for the Tiny Critical Care Hospital!!

The Epsom and St Helier Trust Board which met on Friday, is continuing the review of BHCH.

The latest idea is for a smaller Critical Care Hospital. This would be smaller than the 50 patients a day proposal of the past. Based on the current turnaround plan, I would assume they are looking for 35-40 patients a day at best.

I suspect the London NHS, which will take the decision this time, is likely to say that it is still to expensive to fund. The Secretary of State speech of 11 October (see earlier posts for the text) confirms this reality. Locally any extra money is likely to go to community facilities (intermediate care, Local Care Hospital at Wallington etc) rather than on a grandiose acute scheme.

In the end any change of services on the Sutton General site is likely to be led by the Royal Marsden as it expands its critical care facilities (eg a 10 bed unit). The only other way to fund redevelopment of the Sutton site would be if the Denbies Vinyard owner is allowed to privatise the Epsom Hospital site with his £66 million bid. This would require Secretary of State approval.

Locally, the level of acute services will be determined by commissioning decisions made by the PCT, working more closely with the local authority as they develop community and intermediate services as I have already mentioned in previous postings. I think this is a good idea as it is more locally accountable and Loraine Clifton agreed at the Board meeting that this was inevitable. The Epsom and St Helier Trust will increasingly have a landlord role for a range of services on their sites.


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