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Unison says staff will fight any plan to close Croydon University Hospital's A&E

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UNISON has vowed to oppose any plan to close Croydon University Hospital's A&E or maternity units.
Michael Walker, the union's regional officer, described plans to close both departments at two of effectively four hospitals in south west London as "rushed" and "shocking in their scale".
The closures were announced yesterday (Wednesday) as part of Better Services, Better Value (BSBV), a controversial review of healthcare in the region.
Mr Walker said: "It is clear the coalition Government is trying to rail through the closure of a large number of London's A&E and maternity unit, regardless of the impact on patient care."
The review previously recommended that St Helier, in Sutton, should lose its services, with the departments centralised and expanded at three other hospitals in the region, Kingston, St George's in Tooting, and Croydon.
The resulting investment would have allowed Croydon to refurbish or rebuild its ageing A&E and maternity units, and would have become the basis for the hospital's latest bid for Foundation Status, which it must achieve by March 2014 or face being merged with another trust. 
However, the collapse of a merger between Epsom Hospital and Ashford & St Peter's NHS Foundation Trust in November raised questions about the clinical and financial basis of the recommendations, which have now been scrapped.
The new proposals suggest that two from Croydon, Epsom, Kingston and St Helier should lose both an A&E and a maternity department.
St George's is not being considered due to its "major role" in providing acute services such as stroke and major trauma.
Mr Walker said: "These plans for our NHS are shocking in their scale, are being rushed through, with little regard to clinical need, in an attempt to meet the swingeing cuts imposed by the Government.
"This is now turning into a battle not just for a local A&E department, but a battle to save the NHS.
"The nursing and professional staff at Croydon University Hospital are committed to fighting any closure of the A&E department."
Staff at the hospital, in London Road, were informed this afternoon (Thursday) that a consultation process over the BSBV proposals will begin in February.
The Advertiser understands that the new recommendations about which units should close will be decided upon as early as January 22.
Led by NHS South West London, the BSBV review wants to reduce hospital attendance and admission rates - treating more people within the community - in order to save £64.6m.

Unison says staff will fight any plan to close Croydon University Hospital's A&E


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