Sir: As Chairman of West Surrey Health Commission, I write to stress how vital it is that changes to London's health services go ahead if our own local hospital and community services are to thrive.
Demand among West Surrey residents for treatment in London hospitals - apart from very specialist care - continues to decline. In the coming year, our contract with Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust will be worth £300,000 less than the year before - down from £1.6m to £1.3m.
This reflects the continuing decline in the number of patients needing to travel the long distances from West Surrey for treatment at Guy's and St Thomas'. Indeed, in North West Surrey last year, the decline was so sharp there was a risk that we would not make full use of our contract with Guy's and St Thomas'.
It is crucial that plans to change the pattern of healthcare in the capital are carried through. This will not only benefit Londoners but also people in other parts of the country who - like West Surrey - no longer need to travel to London but can receive the care they need much closer to home.
West Surrey Health
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