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Landmark decision for community hospitals

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust has failed to take over two community hospitals in a landmark decision taken this week.

The primary care trust will stop running Evesham and Pershore Hospitals by next April.
At its board meeting yesterday, members agreed a proposal to dissolve the Worcestershire Mental Health Trust and create a new Worcestershire Community and Mental Health Trust, which will take over management of the community services.


This option had previously been discussed and withdrawn, but chief executive Paul Bates said it had come back to the table following a community engagement process and support from MPs. “This sort of backing puts us in a position of strength. We now have powerful voices behind us,” he said.

Frances Smith, chairman of the Friends of Evesham Community Hospital, welcomed the decision. “I am pleased, this is a very positive outcome as far as Evesham is concerned. This was our preferred option, and was reached following an honest and open debate. Our only concern is for the future of surgical work at Evesham,” she said.

Michael Amies, vice-chairman of the Friends of Pershore Hospital, shared the view that it was the right decision for the two Vale community hospitals.
[quote top=He said:]“We welcome this decision, this has been our preferred option since the beginning.

We don’t know how the trust will work yet, but we hope it will leave in place the system through which community hospitals have served the public in the past.[/quote]

he new trust will be responsible for a large majority of community services currently handled by the PCT’s provider arm. The target date for its formation is April 1, 2011.