Consultation launched on radical plans for Cannock Hospital
Health bosses today said they hope fewer operations will be cancelled – as plans to take over Cannock Chase Hospital are finalised.
Patients at New Cross Hospital are being asked for their opinion on the radical takeover, which will see non-emergency surgery take place in Cannock instead of at the Wolverhampton site.
Shuttle buses will ferry patients between the two hospitals.
And a consultation into the plans has now been launched, which will include public meetings.
Up to 10,000 patients from Wolverhampton could have their surgery or treatment provided at Cannock Chase Hospital under the plans.
Bosses estimate this is just under a quarter of the total number of people who have inpatient and day case surgery at New Cross Hospital each year.
Chiefs at both the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which runs New Cross, and healthcare funder Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, have commissioned the consultation which lasts until September 5.
With the number of patients - particularly in A&E - soaring in recent years, resources have been stretched to the limit at New Cross, leading to more operations being cancelled due to a lack of beds.
Chief executive of the trust, David Loughton, said: "Growing numbers of patients have told us about the stress and inconvenience caused to them and their families by cancelling their operations at short notice.
"People have also experienced poor service in other areas, such as moves between wards and delays in seeing the right consultants, due to a continual increase in emergency admissions.
"Our patients rightly expect better standards of treatment.
"When we take over the management of Cannock Chase Hospital later this year, this will give us an opportunity to protect planned care from the pressures of emergency care by carrying out more routine treatment at Cannock.
"We're also carrying out an extensive building and refurbishment programme to improve facilities at Cannock Chase Hospital."
Under the plans routine surgeries such as gall bladder surgery, hernia repair and hip, knee and ankle surgery would be carried out in Cannock.
Day treatment - such as endoscopy, rheumatology and dermatology - will also move to Cannock.
Dr Helen Hibbs, clinical accountable officer at Wolverhampton CCG, said: "We believe moving some routine operations and treatment to Cannock Chase Hospital is better for patients because they will have more certainty that their operation will go ahead as planned.
"Patients needing complex surgery or who have conditions that need specialist support will still be treated at New Cross. Also, people have the right to choose an alternative hospital if they would prefer not to go to Cannock.
"We understand that some people may have questions or concerns about our plans."
The first public meeting takes place on August 6 from 6-8pm at the Mercure Goldthorn Hotel in Penn Road.
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Visit www.wolverhamptonccg.nhs.uk to take part in an online survey.
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