We believe there is a compelling set of reasons why change has to happen and these have been described by the Programme in our case for change, Issues Paper, Pre-Consultation Business Case, Decision-Making Business Case and our consultation materials.
There are three main reasons why we have to change the way local NHS services are delivered:
- Quality: ESTH is the only acute trust in South West London that is not clinically sustainable in the emergency department and acute medicine due to a 25 consultant shortage against our standards. Additionally there are shortages in middle grade doctors, junior doctors and nursing staff. The Care Quality Commission has highlighted workforce shortages across its two sites as a critical issue.
- Buildings: Our acute hospital buildings are ageing and are not designed for modern healthcare delivery. Over 90% of St Helier hospital and 14% of Epsom hospital is older than the NHS. Buildings’ condition has been highlighted by the Care Quality Commission as requiring improvement. Significant investment is needed to make sure hospital buildings are safe.
- Finances: Currently, Epsom and St Helier hospitals spend more than they receive in funding, and this is expected to continue unless we change the way care is provided. This is due to the increase in costs for temporary clinical staff to cover vacancies and gaps in staff rotas, the increasing costs of maintaining hospital buildings, and the reduction in opportunities to make savings. We want our local NHS to be able to run our hospitals with the money they have available.