HEALTH chiefs have insisted that they will not cut services at a Mexborough hospital as they launched a consultation over possible changes.
NHS bosses have decided to ask for the public’s views on a proposed shake-up at both NHS Doncaster and NHS Bassetlaw primary care trusts but maintained that the move was to improve and not cut services.
One of these plans includes the prospect of changes at Mexborough's Montagu Hospital.
But a NHS Doncaster spokesman insisted: “We do have a long-term commitment to Montagu—it’s not about anything shutting, it's about involving local people.”
A 90-day public consultation starting in May will consider options for care at the hospital, including those relating to endoscopic investigations and the managing hip fractures.
The first phase will focus on the hospita’s role in supporting a potential new rehabilitation service for the area.
The review is being led by doctors but the public’s views will also be key in developing and agreeing the options for the future.
“It’s not that the services are unnecessary, it’s a case of they might need moving to a different place,” added the spokesman.
“We are trying to give the best care to our patients but at the same time there is a need to look at efficiency as well.
“This plan is not led by people in suits, it’s led by clinicians and GPs who want to make services better.”
NHS Bassetlaw’s board, which is the other PCT in line for a shake-up, also agreed to a two phase approach giving clinicians more time to consider any changes.
Both reviews were initially due to start in May but consultation on possible changes at Bassetlaw Hospital will start in October.
The Doncaster NHS spokesman added: “To some degree, we shouldn't have committed ourselves to the initial consultation dates.
“As we have moved along we have looked at different ideas so we decided more time was needed.
“We really want to take people with us, and it’s very much a clinician-led process."
The two PCTs are organising a series of public events where they will ask local people to prioritise the key issues that are important to them.
Anyone interested in taking part is asked to ring 01777 863527.