THE future of Whitchurch Hospital looks secure with news that more services are planned including blood transfusions, dialysis, chemotherapy and extra beds.
Jo Chambers, chief executive of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said there is a possibility of a host of new inpatient services at Beech Ward which has been closed for some time.
Shropshire Cllr Gerald Dakin chair of the healthy communities scrutiny committee said: “It is good news and things look very positive - but the starting point is who will commission it?
“The Community Health Trust owns the hospitals and we need a meeting with the Clinical Commissioning Group (ie the doctors), and the acute hospitals to see what can be put there. We want services closer to home.
“We need to get everyone together to see what we want and what we can get.
“There is one commissioning group for Shropshire and it is important the doctors in the north of the county get their act together and liaise and be at the table when the decision over services for Whitchurch Hospital is made, along with the acute trust to say what they can supply at a reasonable cost.
“Jo Chambers is right in saying we can have all these things, but it depends on the commissioning body.”
Cllr Dakin said he has written to the Health and Wellbeing Board - a body set up between Shropshire Council Social Services and the Clinical Commissioning Group - to request a meeting.
Ted Wilson, director of service delivery at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said: “The Trust is keen that Beech Ward is used to provide health and/or health-related services to local people.
“We are continuing to work with both community groups and those who are responsible for buying local NHS health services to develop options for services that might be provided from Beech Ward.
“These services could include extra beds for patients who do not need main acute hospital care, but are still too poorly to go home.
“They may also include services for outpatient care like chemotherapy or blood transfusions. However, no decisions have been made and we are still exploring all potential options with commissioners and local community groups.”