STRUCTURE: A shortlist of options to reconfigure acute services in Worcestershire could be unveiled by the New Year after being delayed for the second time.

A major review of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust services was due to reveal its shortlisted options to go out to public consultation this month, after first being delayed in September.

Now the Joint Services Review, which is examining plans to reduce acute services in the county to plug a £50m gap, has said it needs more time.

The clinically led review has said it will look to provide services at the three hospital sites in Worcestershire, the Worcester Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

As part of the review talks are being held with the University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust to explore what services it could run at the Alexandra Hospital.

NHS Worcestershire’s chief executive, Eamonn Kelly, said: “The Alexandra Hospital is the site most likely to be affected. We will now review and refine the clinical and financial detail of the models that look to maximise the number of services that can be provided in Redditch.

“This work includes talking with the wider NHS to see if there are opportunities for joint working if this ensures the sustainability of safe, high quality services for local people.”

He added: “There are no guarantees this will be the final outcome but we are committed to making sure we have explored every opportunity to provide the fullest range of services possible across the three sites. This means we will now aim to start consultation, after a second phase of public engagement in the New Year.”