Council leaders warn on raised NHS expectations

South London and Surrey Council Leaders met earlier last week to discuss growing concerns at NHS plans for the future.

The Leaders of the London Boroughs of Merton, Sutton and Surrey County Council together with the Chair of their joint Health Scrutiny Committee met to discuss the deepening uncertainty about the future of health services in Epsom, St Helier and the surrounding areas.

Councillor Sean Brennan, Leader of the London Borough of Sutton said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to have faith in the Better Healthcare Closer to Home programme. The track record of delays, unrealistic expectations and failed promises is leading to public disillusionment”.

Cllr Nick Skellett, Leader of Surrey County Council said: “The NHS has raised public expectations of new, better healthcare services in Surrey and South West London. It appears to us that the delivery will fall short of the promises made”.

Cllr David Williams, Leader of the London Borough of Merton, said: “We want to see local care hospitals in our areas as a priority. The continuing uncertainty only adds to a sense of drift in the NHS”.

Councillor Stuart Gordon Bullock, Chair of the joint Health Scrutiny Committee said: “This is an unprecedented meeting of three Council Leaders representing a population of 1.4 million people. The Secretary of State must quickly respond to our demands for a restoration of public confidence in the NHS plans for the future”.

The Council Leaders propose to meet with the NHS leaders early in the autumn to discuss the health services’ plans for Epsom, St Helier and the surrounding areas.