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St Mary's Hospital future appears healthy under NHS plan

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 July 2012

Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty.

Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty.

2010 Getty Images

The future of St Mary's Hospital looks to be secure after NHS chiefs revealed there are no plans to close it or take away any vital services.

The news was revealed in a consultation document which outlines NHS North West London’s plans for the future of care across eight boroughs in the region.

Part of the plans include reducing the number of ‘major hospitals’ from nine to five, with the four remaining ones downgraded to either a ‘specialist hospital’ or a ‘local and elective hospital’.

The document puts forward three options for consultation with the public, and on each occasion St Mary’s is proposed to be a major hospital.

This means it will retain a full accident and emergency service, emergency surgery, maternity and inpatient paediatric services.

The document, Shaping a Healthier Future, had initially put forward eight options – four of which proposed downgrading St Mary’s to a local hospital and making Hammersmith a major hospital.

This was rejected due to the cost of adding services to Hammersmith which it currently does not provide in order to bring it up to major hospital standard.

Other hospitals which it is proposed will lose major hospital status are Charing Cross, Ealing and Central Middlesex.

Along with the changes to hospital, NHS North West London is also proposing to deliver more care outside of hospitals.

Part of this, the document says, will be done through longer opening hours for GPs and co-ordinated care for people with long term conditions.

Anne Rainsberry, Chief Executive of NHS North West London and senior responsible officer for the programme, said: “Our services are adequate now but will not cope in future – we have a growing and ageing population and we are not geared up to cope.

“I believe the changes proposed will help us deliver better results and save more lives for generations to come.

“The next stage of the process is by far the most important; we want to hear from as many people as possible during the consultation to test and refine the proposals.”

The consultation will run until October 8 and a series of public events are being planned to inform the public.

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