A TAKEOVER of a county hospital would have to be approved by the Department of Health say NHS leaders.
Any plans for a Birmingham trust or any other NHS trust to takeover the management of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch would have to be agreed by the Department of Health policy (Principles and Rules of Cooperation and Competition).
Eamonn Kelly, senior responsible officer for the review of services, said: “These rules are complicated but it is clear that this kind of proposal could be approved by the Department of Health. Transfers between NHS providers occur all the time. For example in 2011 we transferred a number of services to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, including the Wyre Forest Community Unit. As people are aware there is a lot of work still to do in respect of the Joint Services Review but we are clear that competition law wouldn’t be a specific problem if the alternative providers of services were the right answer for our population.”
The NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is in talks with University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust about services in Redditch.
Penny Venables, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, has said there are ‘no plans’ for the Alexandra Hospital to be transferred to another organisation.
Concerns have been raised about the future of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch as part of the ‘joint services review’ (JSR) which seeks to address staff shortages by centralising some NHS services. It is also hoped the JSR can save £50 million over the next three years from across Worcestershire acute hospitals. The review is needed because the demands placed on the health service by an aging population which is living longer is increasing faster than the cash available to pay for care.
No options have yet been announced but there is agreement across the NHS and among other partners that ‘no change’ is not an option. Clinicians from the Clinical Senate unanimously back the centralisation of paediatrics, obstetrics and A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester, leading to the potential loss of those services at the Alexandra Hospital.