Heatherwood Hospital Consultation Starts

People are being asked whether Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot should keep its birthing centre and rehabilitation unit.

Health managers agreed back in May to save the hospital, they're now deciding which services there should be in the future for people in east Berkshire and south Buckinghamshire.

A public consultation's running over the next three months focusing on three specific proposals: Moving the Minor Injuries Unit to the planned new Urgent Care Centre at Brants Bridge in Bracknell, improving rehabilitation services for both stroke and general medical patients and permanently closing the Ascot Birth Centre.

The Chief Executive of NHS Berkshire says the plans would mean fewer people going to A&E and women being offered a wide choice of safe birth options.

Charles Waddicor said: “We want local people to use these opportunities to get involved in detailed, in-depth discussions with us about our proposals. We will take all views on board before we make any decisions.

“We believe the proposals would raise standards of quality and safety and provide better services for patients and value for money for the taxpayer.

Heart's been told feedback from discussions with people over the summer has been taken into account in drawing up the plans.

The consultation runs until 31 January 2013.

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