NHS bosses recommend closing services at Heatherwood HospitalBy Jennie Slevin
March 22, 2013
NHS bosses have recommended closing a number of services at Heatherwood Hospital.
Ahead of the NHS Berkshire East PCT Board meeting on Tuesday, March 26, members have been told to consider recommendations to close all three services put forward in NHS Berkshire's Shaping the Future document.
The recommendations have been made by key members of the Shaping the Future programme board, made up of management and clinical staff.
The proposals include moving the Minor Injuries Unit to Brants Bridge Urgent Care Centre in Bracknell, permanently closing the Ascot Birth Centre and closing ward eight at Heatherwood Hospital and replacing it with eight additional stroke rehabilitation beds at Wexham Park Hospital and stroke rehabilitation care in patients homes.
Board members have also been recommended to take account of the support and objections received during the consultation process which ran for three-and-a-half months.
More than 5,000 copies of the consultation document were handed out to members of the public but only 508 feedback responses were handed back to be analysed by an independent board.
However, councillors from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead feel the views of those who took part in the consultation have been ignored.
Cllr David Coppinger, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for adult services and health, said: “We are completely dissatisfied that the views expressed by local people during the Shaping the Future consultation appear to have been totally ignored.
“The recommendations going to the board next week show scant regard to the views expressed that there should be local services for local people.
"If the board decides to agree the recommendations we will have a reduction in services and local people will lose out."
As well as considering the proposals board members have been advised to ensure the changes would still give patient choice, patient experience, clinical engagement, patient access and would be financially viable.
The final decision will be made during a public meeting next Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, Manor Lane, Maidenhead