CAMPAIGNERS fighting to retain services at Kidderminster Hospital have received a boost after the site was given a ringing endorsement by a clinical planning expert.

Mungo Smith, principal senior director of multinational company Medical Architecture and Art Projects (MAAP), described Kidderminster Treatment Centre as “state of the art” and “designed with an eye to the future”.

Mr Smith, who is based in Australia, wrote to the Kidderminster Hospital Alliance in response to NHS Worcestershire’s joint services review (JSR).

Although it is now widely expected Kidderminster Hospital will avoid cuts, early models for the future of the county’s acute hospital services threatened the town’s site with further downgrading or even closure.

The NHS delayed shortlisting those services at risk in October and announced on Tuesday it now planned to hold a second round of engagement events in February and three-month public consultation the summer.

The Shuttle understands an announcement on the shortlist could be made as soon as January after health bosses failed to reach an agreement at Tuesday's meeting.

Mr Smith said: “Kidderminster Treatment Centre is a state-ofthe- art facility, which contains high-quality technical and environmental features, as well as finely appointed clinical accommodation and a comfortable ambience.

“It was designed with an eye to the future and for potential changes of use.

“Consulting suites were deliberately kept as generic multi-purpose rooms and not bespoke.

Inpatient suites incorporate flexibility, infection control and future customer expectations.

“Similarly, technology and IT proofing incorporate a facility to link Minor Injuries Unit and GP consulting rooms with telemedicine facilities [which have been withdrawn but could be reinstated].”

Alliance spokesman Stephen Brown said: “All in all, Mungo getting in touch demonstrates what an excellent facility we know we have in Kidderminster.

“We have said all along the facilities and services at Kidderminster should be retained, even enhanced.

“Mungo’s letter proves this and we hope during the next phase of the JSR the value and importance Kidderminster can play is a major consideration.”