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Agenda item

Building Your Future Hospitals - Programme update


James Blythe, Managing Director for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals, and Jacqueline Totterdell, Group Chief Executive, gave an overview of the report as read.


We have been working as part of the national new hospitals programme to start developing the detailed plans for the hospital and as part of that we are

working very closely with Sutton Council in terms of the planning and the

access requirements to the new hospital.


We are also working closely with the NHS, locally in Merton and Sutton and the relevant area of Surrey, to ensure that our plans remain fully aligned with local health and care plans and local strategies tackling the wider health needs of those populations


We had hoped to open the new specialist emergency care hospital in late 2025 or early 2026, however we now know that it will not be ready until 2027 at the earliest.


In response to questions from Panel Members, the Managing Director provided further information.


It is not correct to say that the budget was cut by a £100million – We have never received an instruction that the budget is cut by a hundred million pounds.


The program is looking at collective approaches to procuring and, in some cases, constructing these new hospitals as much as practicable. The intent of which is to offset some of these inflationary pressures and ensure that the taxpayers get good value for money. For example, whether there can be some common design and manufacture elements, whether we can have a single way of designing a hospital room, of how bathrooms fit within the hospital rooms, whether there is a consolidated design for a ward or if digital elements could be designed and purchased on a consolidated basis.


We are very clear about the clinical model and the level of capacity that we need to provide.


There is no clear date in terms of planning applications yet.


There are severe constraints in the overall construction market now and that is one of the reasons we're working really closely with the national program to try and offset that wherever possible, but it would be far too premature to say that we are not susceptible to further delays.


There was very extensive consultation process undertaken with residents which was given very high praise by the consultation institute. There were public meetings, focus groups and surveys, all of which is summarised in the original decision-making business case and consultation outcome.


We have set up a patient panel and we are using that panel to find local service users to engage on specific questions as we continue with the development.


It is important to say that the decision was made by the commissioners for Southwest London and Surrey, and it was based on the needs of the whole catchment and how the whole catchment should be served.


With regards to communication and community engagement, we've continued to put out newsletters, we've got our people's panel and many of the senior staff in the trust and the wider hospital group have continued to attend meetings and give updates.

If there's anything that any individual Council or stakeholder wants to suggest that it would be helpful to get an update into, we're very happy to do that and tailoring our communication to what works for a particular local community.


The Group Chief Executive elaborated on the Digital Strategy - one of the proposals is in the early stages of implementing an electronic patient record. At the moment we have a patient administration system which is paper based, so we are in a 2–3-year process to move to digitising all of our notes and having a fully electronic patient record. It is also now possible to get medical equipment that will automatically give your results and critical readings directly into the patient records.


We look at the evidence around health inequalities including what access you have to good housing, education and local health. If the evidence pointed towards local hospitals doing everything, we wouldn't have in London some of the best stroke outcomes in the world and neither would we have some of the best trauma outcomes in the world.


The Cabinet Member brought attention to the fact that on the 15th of June 2022, the Leader of the Council wrote to Sarah Blow with a series of questions which have yet to be answered. The Managing Director agreed to check with the Integrated Care Board to ensure it is responded to.


The element of maternity services that will move to the new site will be the labour ward and the birth centre only. The antenatal and postnatal services will remain on St Helier.


The Panel RESOLVED they would like to receive an update on what is going to be available at the Belmont site so that the wider community can also be informed.


The Chair thanked the NHS representatives for attending the meeting and for facilitating the visit to St Helier.


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