Theresa holds top level meeting on the future of St Marks Hospital

Theresa May has held a meeting with local NHS managers to discuss the future of St Marks Hospital in Maidenhead. Building on recent successful campaigns – including bringing an urgent care centre to St Marks – Theresa brought together the group to discuss how the hospital can continue to provide good services to local residents, and how future changes to the NHS in England can strengthen the quality of care and the management of the hospital.

Attending the meeting were Charles Waddicor (Chief Executive of NHS Berkshire), Philippa Slinger (Chief Executive of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust), Julie Burgess (Chief Executive of Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), Dr Judith Kinder (representing the local GPs’ consortium) and Christabel Shawcross (Strategic Director of Adult & Community Services at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead).

Among the issues discussed was the future of Charles Ward, which provides mental health services for older people. Recent proposals to move these services to Reading were postponed following opposition from local residents, and new work is now being done on the way forward. Other issues raised by Theresa included the continuation of the urgent care centre, the preparations being made by the various bodies represented for the ending of Primary Care Trusts and the introduction of GP-led commissioning as a result of the Government’s NHS reforms, and the need for a proper plan for future services at St Marks.

Commenting, Theresa said: “I am pleased that I was able to bring together this group so that we could discuss the future of St Marks. What we need is a proper plan for St Marks so people know what services will be available and can have confidence that it will continue to provide much needed local NHS services.”

“Each of the NHS bodies represented, along with the Royal Borough, have an important role to play in ensuring that St Marks continues to improve and offer excellent care to local residents. I am determined to ensure that vital services are safeguarded. With the Government’s important NHS reforms coming into effect in the next few years, it is vital that our local health managers are working together in a coordinated way, supporting services at St Marks whilst preparing for GP-led commissioning, which will further strengthen the voice of the local community in shaping our NHS.”

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