THE programme board which oversees the Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire programme has unanimously confirmed its support for the proposed clinical model for acute hospital services in the county.
NHS England has clarified that the model for acute hospital services in Worcestershire must be approved by the West Midlands Clinical Senate before it can go to public consultation.
The West Midlands Clinical Senate’s work will include consideration of the Independent Clinical Review Panel whose findings, which were published in January this year, formed the basis for the proposed changes to local acute hospital services.
Following the West Midlands Clinical Senate review the Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire programme will seek assurance from NHS England that it can go to public consultation as soon as is practically possible. In the meantime work will continue on developing the business case and engaging with stakeholders.
The three CCGs will also continue to work closely with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure that all current services continue to be provided to the highest clinical standards.
The proposed clinical model for the programme is the modified version of Option One which was recommended by the independent clinical review panel in January 2014.
It involved creation of a networked emergenct centre at the Alexandra Hospital, the centralisation of maternity services at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and paediatric inpatients should be centralised in Worcester but a day-time consultant-led paediatric assessment unit at the Alex would accept referrals from GPs and other professionals.
The panel did not support Option 2, which was the one preferred by campaigners and local MPS, which would have seen another provider, one consideration being University Hospitals Birmingham, take over services at the Alexandra Hospital.