No case for services to be removed from St Marks, says Theresa

Theresa May has responded to an interim report on local NHS services by reaffirming that there is no case for services to be removed from St Marks Hospital in Maidenhead. Commenting on a ‘pre-consultation’ report on the future of local health services, Theresa said that any removal of services from St Marks would be “a retrograde step”, and called on NHS managers to reject the proposals in favour of other options.

Theresa was reacting to a recent report from NHS Berkshire and Heatherwood & Wexham Park NHS Trust as part of their ‘Shaping the Future’ programme. The report follows on from a number of events that have been held in the local area ahead of a formal consultation on the future of local NHS services, due to begin in February next year. Although the final proposals for consultation have not yet been confirmed, the options currently under consideration include the idea of centralising services at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, which could see certain services removed from St Marks, and Heatherwood Hospital closed. Following the pre-consultation report, the final proposals will be drawn up and put to the public next year.

In a letter to the Chief Executive of NHS Berkshire, Charles Waddicor, Theresa expressed her opposition to any reduction in services at St Marks. She also highlighted the concern of local residents about the possible closure of Heatherwood Hospital.

Commenting, Theresa said: “I have worked constructively with local NHS bodies and others over recent years to ensure that services at St Marks have been safeguarded and enhanced, and it would therefore be a retrograde step for any services to be removed. With the focus of the work seeming to be on Heatherwood and Wexham Park, I am keen to ensure that services at St Marks are not seen as an afterthought.”

“It would also be concerning if the potential option of closing Heatherwood Hospital was to result in any reduction in availability of services to my constituents. If this option is to be pursued then it will be necessary for the NHS Trusts to explain how the spread of services would work to ensure no overall loss of availability.”

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