STRUCTURE: Commissioners in Warwickshire are consulting on plans to close children’s services at the troubled George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
Under their proposals, inpatient paediatrics would transfer to University Hospital in Coventry.
George Eliot would gain a short-stay children’s assessment unit, open from 8am to 10pm. There are no planned changed to the trust’s maternity services or its special care baby unit.
The consultation document puts forward only one proposal, and argues that the changes are necessary because of the small numbers of children seen at George Eliot.
The document says concerns were raised by “a number of organisations” about the quality of children’s services at George Eliot, most recently by the West Midlands Deanery in 2011.
“These concerns have arisen because of the relatively small numbers of children being seen at George Eliot Hospital and therefore the limited range of conditions and illnesses treated. This has an impact on medical training and development.”
Ambulances called for children in North Warwickshire have automatically been directed to the hospital in Coventry for the past two years.
The consultation on the plan will run until the first week of August.
The trust has admitted that it will be unable to reach foundation status on its own due to its “past record” and the “future risks” it faces.
George Eliot last month asked the Department of Health for permission to franchise out its management – a decision described by would-be merger partner South Warwickshire Foundation Trust as “rather disappointing”.