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Services may be closed and patients permanently moved after a key consultant stepped down at St George's Hospital.

From June 10: St George's Hospital suspends urogynaecology services

Urogynaecology patients at the Tooting hospital are being treated at the Croydon University Hospital while the department is in a period of suspension and a consultation takes place on its future.

The services have been suspended since June 8 after the clinical director left in May.

Concerns have been raised by a member of the public after one of the department's employees took a case to the High Court, to prevent further disciplinary meetings against her. 

The Trust has not commented on whether the staff member was the same person as the department's clinical lead who stepped down.

A hospital consultation report said that the department should be closed permanently stating: "The subspecialty of urogynaecology is considered to be unable to become a viable unit providing high quality services in a cost effective way."

In early 2014, a senior consultant urogynaecologist was appointed from Croydon University Hospital NHS Trust on a part-time basis, supported by two full-time consultants and two associate specialists, as well as administrators and nurse specialists.

Without a clinical lead, decisions requring a multi-disciplinary team cannot be made, and the department has been unable to complete its British Society of UroGynaecologists application, considered best practice.

No suitable successor to the departing staff member was found so services were suspended.

Anne Blanche, who lives in Kingston, came across the issue when a friend was concerned with the future of her treatment.

She said her friend did not find out about the consultation until halfway through and criticised the original October 25 deadline as too soon.

She said: "The question that should be asked is did they really try to recruit anyone.

"I feel dreadfully for the staff. What is happening to them if they close the service? How much would redundancy cost?"

Mrs Blanche, who has 45 years experience in managerial positions within the NHS, said she was concerned that the consultation was only running online.

"I'll be hand writing my response and delivering it personally. There are people who are unable to use IT for many reasons, skill or that they cannot afford it.

"Many carers already choose between heating and eating," she said.

The report on the department's future raises concerns that urogynaecology is a sub-specialty, not just a different treatment method.

All comments should be made via email to consultation@stgeorges.nhs.uk with include ‘Urogynaecology’ in the subject field.

A spokesman for the hospital confirmed letters would be accepted as well as emails.

The consultation has been extended and is open until November 12.

Has your care been moved from St George's to Croydon? Get in touch on 020 8722 6335 or by emailing rebecca.taylor@london.newsquest.co.uk