Surrey and London hospitals consultation postponed

Epsom Hospital
Image caption Surrey MPs fear Epsom Hospital will lose some of its A&E and maternity services

A public consultation on the reorganisation of medical services in Surrey and south-west London has been postponed.

The proposal is to have three hospitals with A&E and maternity units across fives sites - Epsom, St Helier, Kingston, Croydon and St George's.

The reorganisation comes under the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review.

BSBV said there were concerns about people being away over the summer.

Dr David Finch, joint medical director of BSBV, said: "NHS England... has asked us to look once more at the finances to give absolute assurance before the programme progresses to the next stage.

"We have also listened to the concerns of stakeholders and MPs that we should not consult with the public over the summer, when people are often away. We want to make sure that local people are able to take part in the consultation."

In May, Conservative MP Chris Grayling urged NHS bosses to "step back" from the plans, which could see the downgrade of Epsom Hospital A&E and maternity.

In an open letter Mr Grayling, MP for Epsom and Ewell, said he feared the review would cannibalise Epsom and St Helier, leaving the area denuded of services.

He said it would put extra pressure on other Surrey hospitals such as East Surrey, St Peter's and Guildford with Epsom patients choosing to use those rather than St George's.

Conservative MP for neighbouring Mole Valley, Sir Paul Beresford, said he was "very worried".

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