The Better Services Better Value cuts body is due to release proposals to close two A&Es and two maternity units in SW London on Friday 3rd May. These are most likely to be St Helier and Epsom Hospitals. The impact of these sites closing will be fatal for Kingston Hospital, which will be flooded with new patients from areas that no longer have emergency facilities.
The initial decision to approve the closures will be taken by the seven local Clinical Commissioning Boards (CCGs), which are borough-based panels of NHS managers and GPs. The Kingston CCG meets on Tuesday 7th May. If just one CCG rejects the proposals, the proposals will have to be thrown out.
There are three things that you can do to stop the closures:
1. JOIN THE PROTEST
We are calling for a protest outside the CCG meeting at 12 noon on Tuesday 7th May. Meet outside Kingston Guildhall, High Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1EU. We need the maximum amount of people to come to send a message that we need all our hospitals and that any A&E closures will devastate the quality of service at Kingston – the result will be huge waiting times and deaths.
You can share this facebook event and invite people to it in order to build the protest, but also ring your friends and tell your colleagues and neighbours about what is happening!
2. EMAIL THE CCG CHAIR
With the proposals officially announced on Friday, and the CCG attempting to push them through on Tuesday, there is just one full week-day for local people to read and raise concerns about the proposals to close whole hospital departments. Furthermore, the meeting takes place in the early afternoon, at a time when most working people cannot attend. This is not what democracy looks like – it’s a deliberate attempt to stop local people exercising political pressure.
We’re calling on everyone in South West London to email Kingston CCG and request that the meeting is postponed to give people enough time to digest and challenge the closures.
Please email the CCG at email@example.com with the following message. Please CC firstname.lastname@example.org into the email so that we can keep a record of who has emailed them.
Subject: FAO Naz Jivani, Chair of Kingston CCG
I’d like to express my disappointment that the important decision of whether or not to approve proposals to close A&E departments in SW London is being made just days after the publication of these recommendations. This gives no time for the public to read them – in fact, it doesn’t even allow local people to submit questions to the CCG in time to have them registered at the Governing Board meeting. This tramples all over the local democracy which CCGs should be part of promoting.
I’m requesting that this meeting is moved to a time when local people can both attend after work and have time to read the proposals in full.
3. COME TO THE KINGSTON KONP STALL THIS SATURDAY
We need to raise public awareness of the closures programme and build the protest outside the CCG meeting. Make sure you come along to the Kingston Keep Our NHS Public stall this Saturday at 2pm outside the Bentalls Centre.