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Agenda and minutes

Venue: This Meeting will take place online via ZOOM.

Link: View the meeting live here

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Mr Saleem Sheikh.


Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interests


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 46 KB


Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true and accurate record.


Improving Healthcare Together - Proposals for St Helier Hospital pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Community and Housing gave a brief overview of the history of plans for re-configuration at Epsom and St Helier Hospital over the last fifteen years. Merton Council commissioned Roger Steer an independent expert to review the Improving Healthcare Together proposals and he will set out the findings from his research. This consultation took place during the height of COVID-19 therefore Merton asked for the consultation to be postponed to allow time to understand impact of the Pandemic. This request was denied and the consultation concluded 1st April 2020 as originally planned.


The Committees in Common of the South West London and Surrey Heartlands NHS Clinical Commissioning Group met on 3rd July and agreed to adopt the preferred option of building a new hospital in  Belmont ,Sutton.

Officers therefore recommend that this Panel refer this decision to be reviewed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the grounds that it is not in the best interest of local residents.


Roger Steer, independent Consultant gave an overview of the findings of his research outlining the context of the review and the important issues to be considered. Mr Steer said there was a danger that this model would lead to poor access to services, a specialist unit which will not meet the needs of local residents and there had been an over reliance on rigorous South West London Clinical Standards. The Plans need to be reappraised in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Mr Steer said many senior consultants saw this as an opportunity for a new state of the art hospital however it is important to balance this with the needs of the wider community.


Mr Steer informed the Panel that he has held a number of senior roles including the Chief Executive of an NHS Trust and Director of Finance.  He has advised politicians of all political persuasions and been  involved in many reconfigurations across the country. 


A panel member asked about the impact of the reconfiguration of acute services on deprived communities. Mr Steer said the effect of centralising services for the most deprived is worse in comparison to a two centre model therefore his analysis has shown this needs to be re-examined.


A panel member expressed concern that there is a risk of losing the £500 million if the decision is delayed which will have a detrimental impact on local health services. Mr Steer said the biggest risk is that the decision is rushed and not considered properly.  It is important to ensure plans are coherent and in line with guidance.


A panel member expressed concern about the potential loss to the community of the services at St Helier causing a domino effect on services at St George’s. It is also a difficult journey by public transport to get to Belmont for Merton residents.


A panel member asked if COVID-19 had taken place before the Improving Health care Together consultation and the £500 million had not been confirmed, would there have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Nomination for membership of Community Subgroup of the Health and Wellbeing Board pdf icon PDF 66 KB


The Director of Community and Housing  informed the Panel that a time limited community sub group of the Health and Wellbeing Board has been established to conduct  bespoke engagement work with local communities following the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically on the Outbreak Control Plan. The sub group would like to have a representative from scrutiny to sit on the Panel. The Chair nominated Councillor Rebecca Lanning. This was seconded by Councillor Pauline Cowper.



Councillor Rebecca Lanning was nominated to the sub-group



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 93 KB


Apologies for absence were received from James Blythe and Mohan Sechan.