STRUCTURE: Commissioners and clinicians have published a strategy for reforming acute and community services in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Commissioners and clinicians have published a strategy for reconfiguring acute and community health services in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

The document, titled Care for the Future, was published on August 8. The exercise was led by Buckinghamshire, Berkshire East and Berkshire West primary care trusts, with the input of clinicians including GPs.

It recommends making Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Royal Berkshire Hospitals and Wexham Park the “main acute sites for local people”.

Wexham Park is run by the Heatherwood and Wexham Park NHS Foundation Trust, which reported an “extremely adverse” financial trend in its July finance report.

Meanwhile Wycombe Hospital should “continue to provide a range of general services”, and develop its specialisms.

The hospital opened a new hyper acute stroke unit in June, and is in the process of developing a specialist cardiac services unit.

Amersham Hospital, which along with Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville is run by the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, “should continue to provide a range of local services”.

The report emphasises the need to develop “more innovative community based services”, “as a matter of priority”, while hospitals should work together to deliver services such as pathology and “low volume surgical specialities”.

It said this means that the number of beds in hospitals should reduce as alternative services develop, adding that GPs have a “key role” in supporting patients with long term conditions, and should draw up a consistent approach for both counties.

The report concludes that all hospitals in the area should review their use of sites and buildings, and use them more efficiently. “This may mean selling off parts of sites or using them for different purposes”, it said.

PCTs will now be consulting on how to put the recommendations into effect.