By Ian Dipple 26/07 Updated: 27/07 10:07
TOO much jargon and not enough information are the key messages from intial feedback from the public on proposed changes to hospital services across the county.
Independent consultants are reviewing information gained from a series of public meetings, held by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to discuss changes which could see the Alexandra Hospital lose its A&E and maternity services, as well as questionnaire responses.
Initial findings reveal the public are confused by the language and terminology used to describe the various ways hospital care could be organised in the four clinical models put forward and wanted more information about financial, staffing and capacity issues.
Chris Fearns, Joint Services Review project director, told a meeting of the Trust board on Wednesday (July 25) they would also have to work harder to reach a wider demographic of people.
"We had a significant high proportion of people over the age of 65 so our feedback is from the older age group but as we serve the whole county and the whole population there will be a specific recommendation as to how we look at younger people and mothers given a lot of the services we are looking at are paedeatrics, obstetrics and maternity," she said.
"We have to be able to reach a greater number of people and working as a partnership we have to look at how we will achieve that."
She added the more in-depth information the public wanted would be available when a shortlist of options was released, likely now to be after August as the JSR team is still receiving feedback and has pledged to examine it fully before moving on to the next stage.
"In particular people want a much greater sense of definition. For instance what do we mean by an Urgent Treatment Centre," she added.
The JSR process has also been reviewed by the Department of Health to ensure it has been set-up properly and has been given an amber rating.
While the process has been praised for the way clinicians are leading the review and attempts to engage with the public, the Trust needs to ensure it has considered the impact on neighbouring providers and has the support of all three clinical commissioning groups, which will buy health services from next April, before formal consultation begins in November.
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