NHS England given approval in principle for £29m of capital spending to pay for the reconfiguration of acute services at Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust.

Today the West Midlands trust has published a consultation on its “Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire” plan.

A trust spokeswoman said capital requirements of £29m have been “approved in principle” by NHS England, but can only be formally approved once the consultation process has been finalised.

Under the proposed changes the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch would lose all consultant led births and inpatient and emergency paediatrics services, which would be transferred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Other changes proposed are:

  • Locate an adult only accident and emergency at the Alexandra hospital with a co-located GP led urgent care centre for adults and children;
  • Centralise all emergency surgery at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, with most planned orthopaedic surgery transferred to the Alexandra.

The original model approved by CCGs and the trust last year proposed to have a paediatric assessment unit located at the Alexandra hospital. However this is not present in the final model, and it is proposed that GPs refer only to a unit at Worcestershire Royal.

Redditch and Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest and South Worcestershire CCGs will also consult on whether to establish a standalone midwife led birth centre in Redditch.

Some of the proposed changes have already been implemented by the trust. These include the transfer of emergency paediatric surgery, obstetric and neo-natal services from the Alexandra Hospital to Worcestershire Royal.

In September last year Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospitals of Birmingham, criticised Worcestershire’s reconfiguration plans for being “solely” focussed on the trust’s financial viability and described the “significant pressure” on UHB’s clinical specialities because of Worcestershire’s current model.