Review’s glimpse of future

THE East of England Strategic Health Authority s rapid review of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, due today (Wednesday), is expected to provide three broad options for consultation with the public early next year. The SHA seems to have pulled back from rushed dec

THE East of England Strategic Health Authority's rapid review of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, due today (Wednesday), is expected to provide three broad options for consultation with the public early next year.

The SHA seems to have pulled back from rushed decision-making. It will propose that groups of doctors, patients and managers should work up three possible options for the public to consider. None involves closure of the hospital, but all are likely to outrage campaigners for retaining services.

Two envisage smaller caseloads, one with minimum changes to the range of services, the second implies major re-structuring.

Quite what the third means is unclear.


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"Re-provision of a significant level of services to other NHS organisations" could mean one of two opposite things - moving work into Hinchingbrooke from elsewhere or shipping it out wholesale. It is almost certainly the latter.

But the SHA might be in for a shock - it will almost certainly find it will have to abandon that option because it could actually increase costs, not save money.

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Leading physician Dr Colin Borland, who has worked at Hinchingbrooke for more than 20 years, warns that people should not be lulled into believing any proposal that appears to offer only small changes would not lead to major damage to the hospital's range of services.

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