01:14AM, Thursday 21 November 2013
Hopes that the minor injuries and birthing units at Heatherwood Hospital can be saved have been destroyed.
Campaigners had fought tooth and nail to halt plans to move the Ascot hospital's MIU to the new Urgent Primary Care Centre in Bracknell.
Royal Borough councillors even met the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, who agreed to refer the decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP).
But today it was announced that the IRP had given its support to the plan although Mr Hunt still has the final say. It also supported the decisions to close the Ascot Birthing Unit permanently and to replace the rehabilitation beds at Heatherwood with a new early discharge service.
Dr Adrian Hayter, Clinical Chairman of the Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead Clinical Commissioning Group, which first agreed the controversial changes in March, said: “The IRP examined our plans and agreed that they represent the best option for people in our patch."
He said the early discharge service which will replace the rehabilitation beds at Ascot was already successfully treating people at home.
See tomorrow's Windsor Express for the full story and reaction from the Royal Borough.
What do you think of the decision? Leave your comments in the box below or tweet @expressseries
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