THE next steps regarding the future of acute hospital services in the county have been revealed.

For the last 17 months the NHS in Worcestershire has led a Joint Service Review (JSR) to reconfigure acute hospital services delivered by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) and make recommendations for a future model of hospital care.

These recommendations focused on changes at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital and would involve centralising consultant-led maternity services, overnight children’s services and full A&E services at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Two different ways of delivering the model have been recommended.

Option one would see WAHT continue to run an amended range of services across its three hospital sites while option two would see an alternative provider running services at the Alex.

The trust has been completing its internal review of both options and this work will now be reviewed by a panel of clinicians and other specialists.

Following this, the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) will lead a public consultation, inviting the public to have their say on the proposed changes before any decisions are made.

A new governance structure is also being set up and a programme director has been appointed.

In a joint statement Dr Carl Ellson, chief clinical officer for NHS South Worcestershire CCG and Simon Hairsnape, chief officer for NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove and NHS Wyre Forest CCG, said: “All three local CCGs are committed to working together on the next steps to redesign acute hospital services and secure the best possible healthcare for local people.

“We will need to consider how the two different options impact on our current commissioning plans and any service reconfigurations would of course be subject to a more formal public consultation process before any decisions are taken.”

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