The decision on whether to approve proposals to downgrade Epsom Hospital will not be taken by all the GPs in the area, it has emerged.

It will instead be taken by the governing body of  Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (SDCCG) which consists of just 12 doctors plus eight other people.

They will take the key vote at a meeting at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Friday, as to whether the recommendations to remove Epsom Hospital’s A&E and maternity units, as proposed by the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review, should go to public consultation.   

A SDCCG spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that a decision will be taken at the meeting by a show of hands of the governing body, and that the decision will not be based on a vote of every GP in Surrey Downs - which is what happened in neighbouring Sutton.

She said that SDCCG’s membership council, which consists of representatives from each of the 33 GP surgeries in Surrey Downs, agreed in December last year to delegate their decision-making powers with regards to BSBV to the governing body alone.

In line with requirements set out in the Health and Social Care Act, the governing body consists of a GP as a clinical chair, 10 GPs, 1 nurse, 1 secondary care doctor, 4 lay members, a chief operating officer, a chief officer, and an interim finance officer.

The spokeswoman added that if the governing body decides to go to public consultation, once the consultation is conducted, it will ask the membership council for its feedback and opinions on the recommendations.

Sutton CCG announced, at its board meeting last Thursday, that the BSBV recommendations should go to public consultation with 95 GPs saying yes, 59 saying no and 22 abstentions.

At the meeting on Friday, which is open to the public, there will be a 30 minute introduction to SDCCG between 1.30pm and 2pm with the meeting formally starting at 2pm.