Bolingbroke services to move to St John’s
The services currently provided at the Bolingbroke Hospital are to move to the modern St John’s Therapy Centre in Battersea, following a unanimous decision today (Tuesday, 3rd July) by Wandsworth Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Boards of both the Trust and the PCT met in public to consider evidence from a three-month public consultation into where best to house the Bolingbroke’s services in the borough for the next three to five years.
David Astley, Chief Executive of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, acknowledged the depth of public feeling at the meeting to keep services at the Bolingbroke, but set out the reasoning why the right decision had to be made:
“The Bolingbroke is a much-loved and cherished hospital in its local community but as a responsible and accountable organisation we must balance their wishes with the need to provide better healthcare for patients and show value for money for the taxpayer.
“The Bolingbroke building, whilst magnificent in its day, is now completely out of step with the expectations of patients in modern healthcare. The building is costly to maintain and no longer meets health and safety requirements. The St John’s Therapy Centre offers staff and patients the high-quality environment they deserve. And of all the options available, St John’s offers the least disruption for our patients, based less than a mile away from the Bolingroke.”
The Trust and the PCT are not closing services as a result of this move: The Day Hospital for the elderly, imaging and ultrasound, and outpatient clinics will all move to St John’s once building work is complete early next year. The PCT’s dental service will move to Balham Health Centre on Bedford Hill to take advantage of the Health Centre’s modern facilities, and the PCT’s podiatry service will also move to St John’s to join the podiatry service already based there.
The only change to services is that the Day Hospital will move from a full-day model of care to a half-day. This is in keeping with best practice elsewhere in the country and will allow the hospital to treat the same number of patients by minimising any delays between appointments so that patients spend less time in hospital.
At the meeting, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also committed not to dispose of the Bolingbroke site until the end of a further consultation by Wandsworth Teaching PCT into the long-term future of healthcare in the whole of Battersea and north Wandsworth.
Ann Radmore, Chief Executive of Wandsworth Teaching PCT, said:
“We cannot view the Bolingbroke in isolation and we are committed to improving healthcare in Battersea and north Wandsworth. We will soon be consulting with local people again, but this time looking at changing and improving services to better meet their health needs. We are already analysing those needs and we hope that everyone who took part in the Bolingbroke consultation will help us again with this wider review of healthcare provision.”
This next consultation, starting later this year, will consider possible locations for community based services which include GP surgeries and health centres.
Notes to editors
- For more information please contact:
For Wandsworth Teaching PCT, Lizzie Whetnall, Head of Communications, on 020 8682 6835 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Daniel Pople, Acting Head of Communications, on 020 8725 5151 or Daniel.email@example.com
- The Bolingbroke Hospital is owned and managed by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
- The Bolingbroke consultation, which began in February, gave four options for relocating its services. However, responses in the form of petitions and campaigns showed that many respondents did not want services to move from the hospital.
- The Bolingbroke Hospital was built in the 1880s and extensive building work would be required to bring the building up to modern standards. A minimum investment of £6 million would be required to comply with the most basic of health and safety requirements. Any bids for this investment from NHS London might not be successful, given the requirement for value for money and prioritising investment in services in deprived areas.