A LOT of work remains to be done on a project to re-shape Worcestershire's hospital services, although the majority of changes will not affect Kidderminster, a health boss has said.
Speaking at a meeting of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, chief executive Penny Venables said the body was working closely with other health organisations in the county to continue to develop the scheme.
In January a long-awaited independent report into the future of acute hospital services in the county was presented. At first sight, the plan appears to be good news for Kidderminster, as it does not recommend any further downgrading of the site and could even see the facility gain some services.
Health bosses, however, have previously admitted the plan has not yet been costed and could not say what would be in the firing line if more money needed to be saved when costs were considered, which is expected to be soon.
Speaking at the meeting in April of the organisation responsible for running Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, Mrs Venables said there was some way to go before the scheme was complete.
“We don’t underestimate the amount of work we’ve got to do,” she said. “Although the review looks at all three sites the majority of the changes don’t affect Kidderminster “There is lots of other work going on around Kidderminster Hospital and we are working very closely with the county’s CCGs to develop this. There are also lots of things going on outside this project.”
The trust’s director of strategic development, Christine Fearns, described the project as "a really important bit of work".
“Everybody’s working very hard to get it done,” she said.
The review also recommended public transport links between the three hospitals should be reviewed.
It does not support closing the Alexandra’s A&E department, recommending the creation of an “emergency centre”, which would receive ambulances and include an urgent care centre and minor injuries unit and run in tandem with a new “major emergency centre” in Worcester.
It is proposed consultant-led maternity services and paediatric inpatients be centralised at Worcestershire Royal.