Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting KS NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Health panel to carry out next stage of county hospital review
AN INDEPENDENT review panel will be established to carry out the next stage of a review into the future of acute hospital care in Worcestershire - including Kidderminster Hospital.
The “clinical review panel” will be led by NHS England and will include expert clinicians from a range of specialities to look at two options for the future of the county’s hospital care which emerged from the joint services review (JSR).
One option could see University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust take over the running of Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital.
In the other, the Worcestershire trust continue to run an “amended range of services” across its three hospitals which also includes Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester.
Penny Venables, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We remain committed to working with local partners in order to identify the optimum way we can deliver local acute hospital services for residents.
“Our clinicians have worked extremely hard to further develop the specification for proposed options one and two. We now want to work closely with the clinical review panel to make sure these are the best solutions for local people.
The panel has been set up by the three Worcestershire clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), including Wyre Forest, which have taken on the “future of acute hospital services in Worcestershire programme”, formally known as the JSR.
It is thought the panel’s work will take about three months to complete and the county’s CCGs will also produce a report outlining which services they would like to commission on behalf of residents.
Lesley Murphy, local area director for NHS England, said: “I am pleased the respective organisations have been able to agree on arrangements for the next phase of this work.”
He added: Lots of work has been on-going behind the scenes and this reflects the fact the review is critical to ensuring local people get access to the best range of acute hospital services.
“The JSR outlined a strong case for change and has given us a firm basis on which to move forward.”
NHS Worcestershire set up the JSR last year, arguing taking no action would leave the county health service struggling to manage a funding shortfall set to rise to between £150 million and £200 million by 2015/16.
The review had originally threatened Kidderminster Hospital with downgrading but it is now unlikely the town will lose any acute care and may even gain some services.
Comments are closed on this article.