Epsom & St. Helier University Hospitals

Improving NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours services in Surrey


As from 28 March 2019, the NHS 111 and GP out-of-hours service in Surrey is changing to offer a range of benefits to patients.

The provider of NHS 111 in East Surrey, Guildford and Waverley, Surrey Downs and North West Surrey will change from South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) to Care UK. This means that as current providers of the Surrey GP out-of-hours service, Care UK will now deliver an integrated urgent care service made up of GP out-of-hours, NHS 111 and a clinical assessment service which makes it easier get help from a wider range of healthcare professionals.

The changes follow a redesign and procurement process using feedback from patients and a wide range of healthcare professionals. It will not affect how people get help for urgent medical problems – dial 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk from a computer, smartphone or tablet – but they will be able to get more from the service.

Plans are in place to ensure the transition to the new providers is as smooth and seamless as possible with minimal disruption to the service patients receive.

What does it mean for patients?

The redesigned service aims to meet most healthcare needs on the first call – including a consultation with a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist or mental health specialist if needed.

People can expect the service to be:

• Quicker – there will be fewer questions to answer and you won’t be passed from person to person having to repeat yourself each time.
• More direct - as well as offering diagnosis, health advice or next steps, direct appointments can also be booked with many local services. This will be supported by better technology so clinicians can, with patient consent, immediately see key information in someone’s medical record allowing them to give fast advice and treatment.
• More knowledgeable – a wider range of healthcare professionals will be on hand to get the answers or advice you need. This includes doctors, nurses, paramedics and specialists in mental health and dental issues.
• More helpful - as well as diagnosing and giving treatment options, health and lifestyle advice on a wide range of topics is also available. This could be anything from medication to vaccinations, diet to anxiety.

How does it work?

If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do contact NHS 111 by phone or online. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can:
• call 18001 111 on a textphone
• use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service if you’re deaf and want to use the phone service

Fully trained advisors will ask some simple questions and depending on the situation you will find out what local service can help, be connected to a clinician, get a face-to-face appointment or be told how to get any medicine you need.

You can also ask for a translator if you need one.

NHS 111 does not replace 999 or A&E for medical emergencies - when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

European Union exit

We are aware that these changes will happen while the UK potentially goes through the process of leaving the European Union. We have been preparing for various scenarios that may occur as a result and would like to reassure you that contingency plans are in place and will be maintained throughout this time.

About Care UK

Care UK was founded in 1982. Today its healthcare services include treatment centres, 111, GP practices, NHS walk-in centres, GP out-of-hours, prison health services and clinical assessment and diagnostics facilities.

Care UK works with the NHS to take healthcare services closer to where people live and work – increasing the efficiency and quality of the services delivered and helping to reduce waiting times.

Health care experts across Care UK assess, diagnose and treat more than one million NHS patients every year, providing services which are free at the point of use

Further information

Patients should contact Care UK using the details below to report any feedback on the experience and service they received during the phase of transition and immediately afterwards.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0203 402 1245
Write to: Care UK, Glassworks 2, Glassworks Business Park, Station Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1HJ
Website: www.careukhealthcare.com/contact-us - here you will find a guide on how to make a complaint and feedback forms

Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030

Improving Healthcare Together

The NHS in Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton has just completed its first set of public discussion events in which we talked with and listened to local residents and their representatives on how healthcare can be improved sustainably for the future. 185 members of our local communities attended the events, including MP for Mitcham and Morden Siobhain McDonagh and MP for Epsom and Ewell Chris Grayling, as well as a number of Councillors. Thanks very much to everyone who took the time to attend.

At the events clinicians, residents and other community members discussed early ideas for providing high quality healthcare for our communities in Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton. A large number of vital key themes emerged from these discussions. These included - among many others - access to future health services, including the impact on travel times and transport, as well as wider impacts on deprived communities and those with protected characteristics.

All feedback from these events, as well as thoughts and comments through every other channel, is being collated so we can consider ways to provide the best quality healthcare, sustainably, for years to come.
Our next events

Our next set of engagement events will be held in September. The dates, times and locations for these events are below and are also on our website. At these events, we will again discuss the thinking on improving healthcare in our local areas. We would like to hear from you and would be very pleased to see you there so we can listen to your feedback.

Improving Healthcare pic

Wednesday 12th September: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Sutton Masonic Hall, 9 Grove Road, Sutton, SM1 1BB

Tuesday 18th September: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Commonside Community Development Trust, South Lodge Avenue, Pollards Hill, Mitcham, CR4 1LT

Wednesday 19th September: 10.00am – 12.00pm
The Thomas Wall Centre, 52 Benhill Avenue, Sutton, SM1 4DP

Wednesday 19th September: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Bookham Baptist Church, Lower Road, Great Bookham, Leatherhead, KT23 4DH

Thursday 20th September: 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Banstead Methodist Church, The Drive, Banstead, SM7 1DA

Thursday 25th September: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Mitcham Parish Church, The Parish Centre, Church Path, Mitcham, CR4 3BP

There is no need to register to attend. Please come along and share your views.
Find out more about the work in Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton to make sure the very best quality of care is available to our patients and communities, and that it is sustainable into the future from buildings which are fit for purpose www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk

Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals

Update from Chris Grayling M.P. (3rd June 2019)

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with an update on the situation at Epsom Hospital.

Firstly, the Epsom and St Helier Trust continues to be one of the better-performing hospital trusts. I am very grateful to all of the staff at the hospital for the work they are doing.

As you may have heard, the Trust recently agreed the sale of a block of land at the back of the hospital to Legal & General. I did not support the sale, and was concerned about the potential risk to Epsom’s ability to expand in future. Local doctors’ leaders carried out an independent assessment of the plan and of the site as a whole though, and reached the conclusion that Epsom still has space to expand if necessary even if the sale went ahead. Both I and others locally put the Trust under pressure to ensure that even if a sale did happen, the site was kept for health and social care purposes.

I have now met the new owners, Legal & General, to find out more about their plans for the site. They are intending to build a centre for the frail elderly, with a mix of sheltered accommodation, care suites and facilities for residents. They have also committed to give Epsom Hospital and its staff access to some of the facilities. The project is part of a network of similar facilities that they are creating.

It’s not exactly what I would have chosen, but it will create a centre that I believe will be valuable for the area. I have, though, stressed to them how important it is that the development fits in with the surrounding area.

There has been a report that the Trust turned down a much higher offer and sold the site on the cheap. I have checked and this is not really true. There was a higher bid, but it was to build tower blocks on the site, and the offer was subject to planning permission being given for these high rises. That was not a risk that the NHS could or should have taken, given the fact that all of us would, I suspect, oppose building tower blocks much higher than the existing buildings on that site, and it would have meant the land being used just for housing rather than care for the elderly.

The Epsom and St Helier Trust continues to push for the development of a new, single acute centre for the area, and is hoping to be given money to build this when the NHS sorts out its future capital spending plans. The Trust continues to prefer a new build on the Sutton hospital site, though if the situation arises, I will clearly argue strongly for Epsom.

But despite some activity by local pressure groups, any decision about the future of our local hospital services is some way away, and will have to be subject to detailed consultation. Any new acute centre would also not be complete until the mid-2020s.

I hope this is a helpful update.

Best wishes
Chris Grayling


Follow this link to open a pdf of the latest communication from Chief Executive, Daniel Elkeles. (29th May 2019)


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