St Thomas' plans Southwark Bridge Road clinic to clear A&E space

Some outpatient clinics at St Thomas' Hospital could be relocated to Southwark Bridge Road this winter to free up space in the hospital to expand the emergency department to respond to seasonal demand.

St Thomas' plans Southwark Bridge Road clinic to clear A&E space
The osteopathy clinic in Southwark Bridge Road could become an outpatients clinic for Guy's and St Thomas' with up to 400 visitors a day

Speaking at the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust Annual Public Meeting last week, chief operating officer Jon Findlay confirmed that the trust was "working on a plan ... to create some additional space for the winter period by by leasing or buying some additional property that is physically located between St Thomas' and the Guy's site".

The meeting heard disquiet from some trust staff about the plan to relocate their work away from a main hospital site.

In the same week a planning application appeared on Southwark Council's database to allow the clinic in Southwark Bridge Road currently operated by the University College of Osteopathy (formerly the British School of Osteopathy) to be taken over by Guy's and St Thomas'.

In a letter to Southwark Council, planning consultant Steve Walters says that varying the existing planning permission to allow the NHS to take over the space from UCO will help relieve "winter pressures" at St Thomas' emergency department "and help the trust to deliver its recovery programme, brought about as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic".

Mr Walters added: "There has been a huge surge in urgent and emergency care demand with pressure being felt across the entire healthcare system. Summer 2022 has been extremely challenging for all parts of the NHS and an equally challenging winter is looming."

The proposal includes longer opening hours for the clinic, with 300-400 patients expected each day, roughly twice the number of visitors than the existing osteopathy clinic.

Europe's largest osteopathy clinic was opened by the Princess Royal in 2008 but in recent times UCO was forced to relocate its clinic back to its teaching building in Borough High Street in the aftermath of a large fire below the clinic.

• For more information see planning application 22/AP/2255

Tags: Health, Planning & Development, Southwark

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