THE long-running project revamping hospital services in Worcestershire seems to have hit another stumbling block.

Health bosses in the county had said it was hoped a public consultation into the Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire project could be launched in September in time for the project to be ready to get underway at the start of next year.

But, after examining the business case for the project which was submitted last month, NHS England has said more work needs to be done before a consultation can be launched.

Although the organisation has said it supports the proposed clinical model, this now means it is unlikely the public consultation will be completed by the end of the year, having a knock-on effect on the project as a whole.

The project’s programme team has agreed an action plan to complete the project as soon as possible.

In January the results of an independent report into project were presented, recommending a Major Emergency Centre is set up at Worcestershire Royal Hospital dealing with the most serious cases, while an Emergency Centre is established at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital.

The report also recommended consultant-led maternity services and paediatric inpatients should be centralised at the Royal while a stand-alone birth centre is set up in the north of the county and transport arrangements between the two hospitals are reviewed.

Although concerns had been raised the plans would involve closing the A&E at the Alex, the panel did not take this recommendation forward.

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