By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 05 October 2012 Updated: 08/10 10:58
SPECULATION is growing an announcement on the future options for hospital services in Worcestershire could be delayed again.
Clinicians and hospital bosses are set to meet on Wednesday (October 10) to discuss progress on the Joint Services Review with a view to finalising the options to put out to public consultation in November.
If a deal is reached an announcement is expected the following day, but sources say the likely outcome is a decision will be deferred again while behind the scenes talks with a hospital Trust in Birmingham - believed to be University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QE in the second city - about taking over all or some of the services at the Alex continue.
A decision on the shortlisted options has already been delayed once after an agreement failed to be reached in September.
Adding to the speculation is the fact a meeting between Redditch Older People's Forum and the JSR team set for October 18 has been delayed amid concerns the options would not be ready to be discussed.
But a spokesman for the JSR said while they had contacted Worcestershire County Council regarding consultation with the public, including groups such as the Older People's Forum, he denied a date for the meeting had ever been set.
"We are very happy to meet with this group and others once we have something new to say and will know more after the meeting next week."
For more information about the Older People's Forum or to express an interest in attending the meeting once a date has been confirmed, call Pat Witherspoon on 01527 65436.
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