Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Start of Better Healthcare in Wallington

Mint House is to be extended and improved following planning approval given on the 19th December. The office block on Stanley Park Road, Wallington is owned by one of the GP partnerships practising in Shotfield Health Centre.

The building is not exactly the apogee of good design. The proposal is to add extra floors and to improve the look of the building with new materials. It is an integral part of the "Better Healthcare Closer to Home" programme, whereby Shotfield will be redeveloped to offer better, more extensive healthcare to local residents (unsurprisingly, closer to home.)

The Doctors' practices will move into Mint House whilst Shotfield is rebuilt. At the end of the development, this building will revert to office use, housing the administrative support for the new clinic. Shotfield will provide consulting rooms to enable some outpatient procedures to be carried out on site saving journeys to St Helier and Sutton Hospital. Since my doctor is located here, I'm as keen as anyone to see the improvements over the coming years. The planning application for Shotfield itself is due to be submitted in January.


Bob Briant said...

How do you respond to the dark thought that the new Shotfield Medical Centre is just to soften up local opposition to shrinking St Helier Hospital, which presently has over 500 beds spread over a wide range of specialities?

You have previously mentioned here reports in the local press of mooted NHS plans to reduce the combined size of the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals from 800 beds down to 200 beds, supposedly on the grounds that there is a standing surplus of acute beds in South London and because new and planned local and community medical centres, or distant hospitals such as St George's in Tooting, will provide for the gap in provision.

I'm no expert on healthcare but I can't see how local and community centres will be able to cover for the current spread of specialities in St Helier. And we tend to overlook the fundamental question about whether medical staff will regard working hereabouts as a good career position with all the upheavals in prospect.

Scully said...


You raise some interesting points. It seems at the moment that St Helier is still expanding - mainly to take the services that are being cut from Sutton Hospital. I assumes that they will then want to sell some or all of the Sutton Hospital site and we will be left with everything in a decrepit building bursting at the seams.

Sutton Hospital is a vital strategic site for healthcare in the Borough. The Royal Marsden want to expand but are hesitant whilst the future of its neighbour is uncertain. St Helier needs to be rebuilt. There are arguments for and against where various services are put on the two sites. My main concern is that they are not moved out of Borough to St Georges and further afield which would be disastrous for residents.

I will fight any move that reduces easy access to these services within the Borough but I am not against increased local provision in outlying areas such as Wallington. Shotfield is falling to bits. It needs serious updating just to stand still. If people can have simple procedures there rather than adding to the crowds in St Helier, then that has to be a good thing.

Point taken though.

David said...

I must confess, being a Spit and a throw from St Helier, I get a vague, uneasy feeling when I see these developments. Its not that I dont want an increase in facility, purely that I would hate to see it being at the expense of our necessary current facilities.

Bob Briant said...

The national news for 2 January is reporting that David Cameron is proposing hospitals should be fined according to the numbers of patients who contract hospital superbug infections such as c.difficile and MRSA.

Recent news from the London Evening Standard was that patients in London hospitals are more likely to catch MRSA infections and that NHS trusts with the highest number of infections last year included Epsom and St Helier Hospitals so these hospitals would be especially badly hit financially on top of their present draconian cost-saving regimes: