Keep Blanche Heriot Unit at St Peter's Hospital Open
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Blanche Heriot Unit at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey has been serving the people of North Surrey for 25 years but is now threatened with closure. The Unit provides services in sexual health, HIV and other areas of genito-urinary medicine with some 15,000 attendances in 2016. These include patients with other health issues such as vulva/genital dermatology, cancer and pre-cancer and chronic pelvic pain. In addition to the clinics held at the Blanche Heriot Unit itself, clinics are held every week in 5 local prisons and at Royal Holloway, University of London. The Blanche Heriot Unit also provides inpatient HIV services at St Peter’s and works closely with the neonatal unit.
The Blanche Heriot Unit is currently run by Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust but is now caught up in a contract jointly commissioned by Surrey County Council and NHS England for sexual health and HIV services in Surrey. There was only one bidder for this contract - Central & North West London NHS Trust (CNWL). CNWL have committed to run the Surrey contract at a saving of £2million per annum over 3 years. CNWL have indicated that they will not be retaining services at the Blanche Heriot Unit but have given no indication as to how these services will be provided elsewhere to the same high standard and level of accessibility. The contract was due to start on 1 April 2017 but CNWL have already run into problems in the “mobilisation” stage causing Surrey County Council to extend the existing services at the Blanche Heriot Unit by six months.
However this is only a temporary reprieve. The Unit, and the services it provides, remain under threat. The decision makers in this process have not engaged with, or consulted, the patients who depend on the Blanche Heriot Unit.
This is your opportunity to ensure that the patient voice is heard. Sign & share the petition. Write to your MP. Make the case for the Blanche Heriot Unit and its dedicated, expert staff to continue to serve the people of North Surrey.
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