7:30am Friday 1st February 2013
By William Tomaney
THERE are fresh concerns over the financial future of Kidderminster Hospital after it was revealed services at another Worcestershire hospital could be taken on by a Birmingham NHS trust.
Former Wyre Forest MP Dr Richard Taylor said if University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust took over running services at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust could lose a third of its £330 million budget.
The trust would be left with just Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester and would have to pay for county patients to use vital services at the Alexandra with a reduced budget. That would make it difficult for the trust to argue it was “financially viable” in its application to become a foundation trust and could ultimately lead to Kidderminster being taken over by another trust, warned Dr Taylor.
Fears were sparked last week after Redditch MP Karen Lumley confirmed commissioners at the Alexandra, fighting to keep its A&E department, were in negotiations with the Birmingham trust to take over running key services as part of the Worcestershire NHS joint services review.
Penny Venables, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive, said, however: “The Alexandra is an integral part of the trust and there are no plans for it to be transferred to another organisation.”
Dr Taylor said: “It would be good news for Redditch and OK for us provided it does not make Kidderminster so small we are not viable financially in the current climate because then we would have to be taken over by other trusts.”
He added it was unlikely Kidderminster Hospital would lose any services as a result of the review and could even gain some elective services.
Seven months ago, review staff released six options for the potential future of acute hospital care in Worcestershire, which initially suggested Kidderminster could close.
Since then, a shortlist of models and public consultation have been delayed three times and are now due to take place this summer.
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