NHS campaigners call for Wandsworth GPs ballot of the Better Services Better Value review
NHS campaigners are calling for a ballot of GPs before a public consultation runs on the future of healthcare in Wandsworth.
The Better Services Better Value review (BSBV) proposes to close acute services in Epsom and St Helier Hospitals, with fears St George's Hospital, Tooting, will struggle to cope with the expected additional patients.
A public consultation on the plans is set to run by the end of the year, with Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Surrey Downs, Sutton and Wandsworth all affected.
Keep Our NHS Public campaigners (KONP) are calling for a secret ballot of GPs to gauge their views on the proposals.
The seven clinical commissioning groups were given an option to host an open ballot of GPs.
Only Sutton has done so, with GPs backing the plans.
A secret ballot was instigated by Chris Grayling in Epsom, with the majority of participating GPs voting against the closure of Epsom Hospital's A&E, maternity and children's wards.
In a letter to MP for Tooting Sadiq Khan, Dr Mike Squires, of KONP, wrote: "Our local GPs have not had the opportunity to express their opinion on this matter, so I therefore think it would be an excellent idea if you could organise a ballot of all the GPs in our CCG area on this matter giving them the opportunity to have their say on this vital issue."
Nicola Jones, chairwoman of Wandsworth CCG said: "We have consulted with GP colleagues widely on this.
"We held a special board meeting in May involving the locality leads who represent our GP members which recorded support for the BSBV consultation plans.
"We believe it is now really important that Wandsworth residents are allowed to make their own minds up about the options on the table, and are given the opportunity to make their voices heard during the public consultation."
Sadiq Khan MP said: "It is crucial our GPs are given a say on such huge and wide-ranging changes, and I have called on Wandsworth CCG to ensure that our GPs are consulted.
"We need to listen to the experts and those at the heart of our NHS, and I will be working hard to ensure their voices are heard."
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