Labour’s Andy Burnham has said he would keep St Helier on its current site if he becomes health secretary after the general election
First published in News Sutton Guardian:
by Hardeep Matharu, Chief reporter – Epsom
Andy Burnham has said St Helier hospital “now needs security” and would stay open on its existing site if he is health secretary after the general election.
The Labour politician’s comments come two weeks after secret plans to close both Epsom and St Helier hospitals and replace them with an 800-bed super site in Sutton were leaked.
From April 14: Secret plans to close Epsom and St Helier and build new “super hospital” overheard on train
He made no comment on Epsom Hospital, raising questions about whether he believes Epsom should be closed.
In a statement, Mr Burnham, who would be health secretary if a Labour government is formed after the May 7 election, said: “I am really concerned to find out that there is yet another consultation being conducted on the future of St Helier hospital.”
“There have already been endless consultations costing the NHS millions of pounds, money which would have been better spent on patient care.
“All of these consultations have reached exactly the same answer – that St Helier should stay open on its current site.
“In the interests of patients, staff and the local community St Helier Hospital now needs security.
“If I am Secretary of State for Health after the election I will veto such plans and require the funds, already allocated for the upgrading of the hospital, to be spent”.