Update from Chris Grayling MP. (11/2017)
Firstly, the latest on the future of the Hospital. The Epsom and St Helier Trust has now completed its informal engagement programme with the public. They have now said that they believe they have public support to ask the NHS to move ahead with the construction of a new hospital. But they have been careful not to express a preference between Epsom, St Helier and Sutton – though it is clear that the preferred option of the leadership is for a new build on the Sutton site.
However as I indicated to you in my last email about this, I have spoken to many senior people in the NHS and it is clear that whilst the Trust leadership wants to build a new hospital, this doesn’t appear to have much support elsewhere in the NHS. The Government is providing additional capital funding for the NHS, but this is almost certain to be spent on smaller projects. As I have said before, if the prospect of a new hospital locally becomes a real one, then we will need to have a serious debate about the plans. Right now, though, there is no immediate threat to the future of services at Epsom, and if anything I am frustrated that this exercise has raised both concerns and expectations without the Trust having secured wider support in the NHS for what it wants to do.
In the meantime, Epsom Hospital continues to perform pretty well, and the Trust is one of the best performing in the country in its current form.
I will be keeping a careful eye on all of this, and will update you if anything looks like changing.