Save Kingston Hospital: Background


NHS bosses try to keep plans secret

The proposals to close Kingston's A&E and Maternity services are part of a review of acute hospital services currently taking place across London.

We understand that NHS bosses are trying to keep the plans secret until after the General Election.

In North East London, where plans are more advanced, the future of three NHS Hospitals is under threat.

The threat

  • NHS London has been conducting a review of acute hospitals across London. Already in North East London, some key hospital services are under threat of closure such as Whittington and North Middlesex Hospitals.
  • In South West London a review has been taking place, looking at all 4 hospitals in the area and their services, namely St.George’s Tooting, May Day Croydon, St Helier, Carshalton and Kingston Hospital itself.
  • The NHS was to publish an “options” paper following this review – first in December and then in January. This plan has been pulled, and NHS bosses have decided to publish nothing until after the election.
  • However, it is widely known that one of the options being seriously analysed by the NHS, supported by the consultancy firm, McKinsey, is the closure of Accident and Emergency Services and the Maternity Unit at Kingston Hospital.
  • Local MPs Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton, Lib Dem) and Susan Kramer (Richmond Park, Lib Dem) have met leading NHS bosses to make their total opposition to any closure of hospital services at Kingston clear.
  • However, the decision by the NHS to keep their plans secret ahead of the election has led to MPs Edward Davey and Susan Kramer to decide to “blow the whistle”. The MPs are using Parliamentary Questions and Freedom of Information requests to try to force Labour Ministers and NHS bosses to come clean, but it is clear a decision has been made to try to keep the public in the dark to avoid political embarrassment.
  • MPs Edward Davey and Susan Kramer believe Kingston Hospital’s A&E and Maternity Unit are amongst the best in London and there is absolutely no case for them to be considered for closure. However, there is a danger that if there is no public campaign, NHS London will present any new Government with a virtual fait accompli.
  • It is therefore vital that the public are warned now, ahead of the election, and that the campaign to save Kingston Hospital’s A&E and Maternity Unit is ready for any fight after the election.

News has leaked out

Hospital closures are inevitable over the course of the next five years, a Labour peer and government adviser warned today. Ruth Carnall, head of NHS London... said trusts should be prepared to bulldoze "old,run-down" hospital sites.
The Evening Standard, November 2009

NHS to close hospitals across London to cope with spending squeeze ... Trusts are being ordered to push through radical reforms outlined by Lord Darzi in his 10-year plan, or end up in debt. But critics have warned they could lead to the downgrading of local services.
The Guardian, January 2010

London hospitals "could close as healthcare in the capital heads towards a major financial crisis", the British Medical Association(BMA) has said.
BBC News, January 2010


Maternity Unit Appox. Births/Year
Kingston Hospital 5800
St Georges Hospital, Tooting 4900
St Helier Hospital, Carshalton 2900
Mayday Hospital, Croydon 4300

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