The future of St Helier Hospital is the biggest issue facing residents of Merton and Sutton and this has motivated six residents to declare they are prospective candidates in the May 22 local elections representing the Keep Our St Helier Hospital Party (KOSHH Party).
Meet the KOSHH Party team:
Dr Tiz North (Sutton South Ward, Sutton): Tiz has worked as a Consultant Radiologist at St Helier Hospital since 1977 and was previously the Clinical Director for Diagnostic Imaging for Epsom and St Helier. She has lived in Sutton since 1982.
Tiz says: “It is so important that we defend all the services at St Helier Hospital - A&E, maternity, children’s services, renal, everything. It would be a disaster for all patients and for the local community.”
David Murray (Wallington South Ward, Sutton): David has clocked up more than 25 years for IBM and as a local school governor. Married with three daughters, he now volunteers for St Raphael's Hospice, Age UK and CAFOD. He has lived in Wallington with his wife Anne for more than 40 years.
David says: "St Helier A&E were fantastic when I needed them recently and I want them there for future generations."
Frances Cornford (Sutton West Ward, Sutton): Frances has lived in Sutton for more than seven years and really appreciates the value of having a good local hospital. She believes that local politicians in Sutton are not doing nearly enough to protect St Helier.
Frances says: “Local politicians are full of warm words but little in the way of action. Being part of the Keep Our St Helier Hospital Party is a way to put pressure on politicians of all parties and make them realise how important our hospital and the NHS are to local people.”
David Ash: (Raynes Park Ward, Merton): David is a father and grandfather and he has lived in the borough for 34 years. Now retired, he had a varied career in public service which included running a textile laboratory, training managers, drafting central policy and dealing with Parliamentary business.
David says: “I have lived during the best times the UK has ever known, in which the finest achievement was the creation of the most cost-effective health service in the world, paid for according to means and free according to need. I am determined to fight the attack on St Helier Hospital, which is part of the current giveaway of the NHS to private companies who will care nothing for the health and wellbeing of the nation.”
Sandra Ash (WImbledon Park Ward, Merton): Sandra is a wife, mother and grandmother, and a retired tutor. She has lived in the borough for more than 30 years. She believes that the threat to vital services at St Helier Hospital, such as A&E, maternity, the children’s hospital and the renal unit, is the biggest single issue facing SW London.
Sandra says: “We want to raise public awareness of this threat to St Helier Hospital and the whole community - it needs to stay on the political agenda. It is for that reason that I have decided to stand as a candidate for the Keep Our St Helier Hospital Party.”
Dave Ash (Cheam, Sutton): Dave has a young family, has lived in borough of Sutton for seven years, and has lived in the area for most of his life. Whenever members of his family have used St Helier Hospital, they have always had excellent care, and he knows that they are not alone in this regard.
Dave says: “I believe that the high quality care at St Helier Hospital represents great value to the taxpayer - the whole community will suffer if we lose any of these services. I oppose any privatisation of NHS services - it is a national asset worth fighting for.”
Photography by Paul McMillan
Photography by Paul McMillan