Plea For Hold On St George's and St Helier Merger

GPs ask for delay in hospital merger

Local GPs have called for a delay to a proposed merger between St George's and St Helier hospitals. They have concerns about how the merger could affect the long-term future of many of St Helier's departments including maternity, the renal unit and the accident and emergency department, and that the merger could mean a general decline in services.

Sutton Council has already written to health secretary Andrew Lansley asking for assurances the merger would not lead to a downgrade in services, in what could amount to a takeover by St George's.

St Helier is likely to merge at some point with another hospital as all health trusts must attain Foundation Status by a Government deadline of 201,4 and it has been ruled as not suitable to go it alone. However St George's may prove an unsuitable partner, and other hospitals such as The Royal Marsden are being aproached.

August 17 , 2011