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Surrey trust could takeover Wexham Park Hospital
HEALTH bosses in Surrey are looking at a potential takeover of Wexham Park Hospital – sparking concern over services for South Bucks patients.
In a joint statement this afternoon, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust says it will lead an assessment into the possible acquisition of Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The statement says the process has the "full co-operation from the staff and board" of Heatherwood & Wexham, which recorded a deficit of £13.5 million last year and is expected to be £7 million in the red for 2012/13.
Deborah Sanders, a former Beaconsfield town councillor and health campaigner, is concerned the takeover would lead to service cuts at Wexham Park Hospital, which is just north of Slough.
She said: “South Bucks does not have good access to services and I think this could make it worse...This could make us a desert.”
“If they only put an A&E at Frimley Park we’d then have to go to Surrey, the north of Bucks or Oxford.”
The closure of Wycombe Hospital’s A&E services in 2005 followed shortly after the merger of South Buckinghamshire NHS Trust and Stoke Mandeville Hospital NHS Trust [now Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust].
However, the joint statement from Frimley Park and Heatherwood & Wexham says: “The objective of the exercise will be to discover how acute patient care and services can be further improved across East Berkshire and surrounding areas.
“East Berkshire Commissioners are supportive of proposals that can offer the best sustainable solution for acute healthcare services in the area.
“Over the next few weeks an initial assessment will be made. Depending upon the outcome of this assessment, a decision will be taken as to whether Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will lead a due diligence process to fully investigate the effect of a potential acquisition.
“If the initial assessment does not indicate significant benefits, no further work will be undertaken.”
Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell, has called for the closure of Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospitals as part of his radical plans for a regional Thames Valley hospital.
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