The Anonymous Widower

Hospital Closure Protests

Yesterday’s BBC London local news led with a story about how the hospitals of Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust will be redeveloped.

They currently have three hospitals at Epsom, St. Helier and Sutton and consultants overhead on a train, are saying that a new hospital will be developed on one of the sites.

From what the report said, the locals want to keep all hospitals, which may not be the most economic or practical solutions.

I have looked at Google Earth images and the details on how you get to these hospitals and I suspect that the only practical way to get to these hospitals is by car or taxi. But as they probably charge an arm and a leg for parking, this is probably something that gets protested about all the time.

If they do build a new hospital it must be easily accessible by public transport. At present all sites need a long walk to all except Epsom, which is obviously a policy designed to discourage poorly and elderly patients and visitors without their own transport. There have been plans to link St. Helier hospital on the Tramlink, but nothing seems to be happening in that area. This is the Google Earth image for the hospital.

St. Helier Hospital

St. Helier Hospital

Surely, if you are going to create a new super-hospital it must have first-class public transport links. This article in the Local Guardian shows the route of the proposed Tramlink extension.

St. Helier Tramlink

St. Helier Tramlink

I would assume that the loop to St. Helier Hospital includes street running or goes through Rose Hill Park. This a Google Earth image of the area.


St. Helier Tramlink Detail

St. Helier Tramlink Detail

The roundabout at the top left is Rosehill roundabout, which is planned to have a tram stop and the hospital is at the bottom right.

It would seem feasible to run the Tramlink to the hospital, but would the street running and/or possible loss of green space, create a lot of opposition?

A survey on the Merton Council web site is very supportive of Tramlink going to the hospital.

An interesting fact is that there is a frequent train service, that takes just ten minutes between Epsom and Sutton stations, so if a super-hospital was built on the St. Helier site, getting there from Epsom wouldn’t be difficult, provided of course the Tramlink extension was built.

If we look at Epsom Hospital becoming the super-hospital, then here is a Google Earth image that shows both Epsom station and the hospital.

Epsom Station And Hospital

Epsom Station And Hospital

The station is at the top and the hospital is indicated by the red arrow at the bottom.

From experience of the area years ago, it is not an easy walk and should a super-hospital be served by buses alone?

The other site is to build it on the old Sutton Hospital. But this is only served by buses from Sutton station, as is the nearby world-class Royal Marsden Hospital. This Google Earth image shows the two hospitals and the nearest rail station at Belmont.

Sutton Hospitals And Belmont Station

Sutton Hospitals And Belmont Station

There could be possibilities to sort out the transport links in some way to Belmont station, but it only has an infrequent service with nothing on a Sunday.

I have a feeling that if the Tramlink extension is built between Wimbledon and Sutton stations, that if tram-trains were used they could extend down the Epsom Downs branch, with perhaps a loop to serve the developing Health Campus based on the Royal Marsden and perhaps a super-hospital built at Sutton.

April 14, 2015 - Posted by | Health, Transport | , ,

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