We have posed some FAQs to the Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. Please below –
Questions re future of Epsom Hospital
What are the plans for the land at the front of the hospital now that the CCU will be built at Sutton?
We will continue to need the building at the front of the hospital (Headley Wing) until after the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital is opened in 2025. After this we currently do not have a use for the building or the front car park. We will continue to consider future use, and are working with other health care and public sector organisations to evaluate whether they would like to use this land post 2025.
Please would you list the services that will be available at the Epsom site once the new Sutton unit is completed?
Lots of services will be staying put! They include:
- Urgent Treatment Centre (local A&E) 24/7
- Outpatients and blood tests
- Diagnostics including MRI and CT scans
- Day Surgery
- Medical infusions / day care
- SWLEOC (expanded)
- Inpatient rehabilitation beds including stroke rehab.
Is Epsom going to be a ‘satellite’ set-up for the Sutton hospital, i.e. provide services at a much reduced capacity, so one day / week at Epsom and 4 days / week at Sutton?
No, each hospital will do very different things. The Sutton Specialist Emergency Care Hospital will do majors A&E, complex emergency medicine, emergency surgery, inpatient paediatric, births and critical care. Epsom and St Helier hospitals will do everything else – I’m sure you will have seen the video our staff did earlier this year, but the link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sRInfMkyE44 . All three hospitals will be open 24/7/365.
Will there be any consultants based at Epsom and available to see patients here on a day-to-day basis? If so, which specialities / clinics?
Yes. Most consultants have jobs where they spend part of their time doing emergency care and part of their time delivering planned care. Simplistically the part of their job that involves emergency care will be spent at the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and the parts of their job that involve planned care will be delivered at Epsom and St Helier hospitals. So almost all our outpatients and day surgery will be delivered at Epsom and St Helier sites and these services are all led by consultants. There will also be inpatient rehabilitation beds at Epsom Hospital which will have consultant presence as well.
Will telemedicine be used for consultants based at St Helier to advice on the treatment of patients at Epsom?
Our consultants already discuss patients with each other between sites and we are not planning to change this. We are doing more consultations ‘virtually’ in response to COVID but that is predominantly to enable clinicians to talk with patients who are in their homes to avoid them having to come to hospital.
In addition to the orthopaedic centre, will planned surgery involving overnight stays take place at Epsom?
The consultation had all planned surgery involving an overnight stay, other than SWLEOC, taking place at the site of the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital. Day case surgery (which is the vast amount of planned surgery) will continue to take place at Epsom.
Will there be any facilities for children with ‘minor injuries’ or other ‘out of hours’ concerns at Epsom?
Yes. The Urgent Treatment Centre will be able to safely assess and treat the vast majority of children of all ages and it will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the child is too sick for the service we can offer at the Urgent Treatment Centre we will transfer them safely in an ambulance to the dedicated Paediatric A&E which will be at the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.
Could we have information about the refurbishments to be made to the Epsom estate – both what facilities are planned and a time-scale.
Huge refurbishment of Epsom Hospital continues at pace. As part of our £20 million works to improve energy efficiency and improve comfort levels of patients and staff, construction is well underway on our new energy centre (which will allow us to remove steam powered boilers).Wells Wing (the main ward block) is currently having a new roof installed, new windows put in, exterior walls re-rendered and air-conditioning installed. In autumn, we’re due to extend Langley Wing and rebuild some existing parts, including building a bridge to Wells Wing so vulnerable patients will not have to be wheeled in their beds outside in all weathers, and work to create a new multi-storey car park both will also begin. Our new main entrance is set to be finished in 2021/2.
Just this week, we have been given £6.1 million in additional capital funding to expand our A&E departments. We’ll be investing this money before December so improvements can be made before the worst of winter arrives. At Epsom, this money will be used to expand the waiting area in A&E so people can remain at a social distance even when the department is busy, it will bolster the amount of same-day care we can provide so fewer people need admission while they wait for care, and it will fund better environments for patients with mental health conditions.
Are there any additional specialist services planned for Epsom (e.g. a centre of excellence in a speciality other than orthopaedics)?
What public transport links will be provided between the Epsom and the Sutton Hospital sites?
We are committed to expanding the route, stopping points and frequency of the H1 bus route that links Epsom Hospital to Sutton Hospital.
In light of the COVID-19 experiences, have there been changes to the planned numbers of in-patient beds at the 3 hospitals, both for intensive care and for lower needs nursing?
Yes, we have increased the number of ITU beds from 22 to 30. The CCGs consulted on a model with 1,052 beds and we are now proposing 1,066 beds which is an increase of 14.