Sutton Council has backed proposals to transfer emergency services from St Helier and Epsom hospitals to a new facility in the borough.

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust has submitted a pre-consultation plan to NHS England favouring the relocation of emergency and critical care to a new hospital over the expansion of the current two sites.

Council leader Ruth Dombey welcomed the plans, would see a concentration of hospital services in the area.

Cllr Ruth Dombey said: “We are ambitious for Sutton and this announcement signals another significant milestone along the journey to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents in our borough.

"The London Cancer Hub, a partnership between the Council, the Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research will put Sutton on the world map for cancer treatment and research.

"I hope the submission from Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust will further improve services in the borough for all our hospital patients, including emergency cases and those most at-risk.”

Under the plans, Epsom and St Helier would continue to run the majority of services as they do currently, covering 85% of patients. 

For emergency cases and high-risk patients, the remaining 15%, services would be housed in a new facility which could open as early as 2020. 

The proposals have met opposition from neighbouring Merton Council, as they could see people in the borough having to travel further for vital services.

Cllr Stephen Ambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: "We could not be clearer in our opposition to any closure or downgrade of services at St Helier Hospital.

"I’m extremely disappointed that the Trust and the CCG appear to prefer an option that would remove essential services at St Helier.

"This is despite the overwhelming evidence of local need, and the clear opposing voice of Merton’s residents through the various engagement processes undertaken to date.”

The announcement follows news last week that The Royal Marsden has also submitted a planning application for a new, state-of-the-art £70 million cancer facility in Sutton.

The Oak Cancer Centre, made possible by the Marsden charity's fundraising, will replace some of the hospital's existing features with modern infrastructure, bringing together 330 researchers currently dispersed across the site.