TWO public consultations on plans to transform part of Montagu Hospital into a rehab centre will take place in May, health bosses have announced.
NHS Doncaster want to replace acute emergency treatment at the Mexborough-based hospital with extended rehabilitation facilities.
A 90-day public consultation to hear residents’ and patients’ views on the plans will start in May.
The plans are part of the Clinical Services Review – an “efficiency” re-organisation of care provided across Mexborough, Doncaster and Bassetlaw.
Under the proposed scheme, some medical wards at Montagu will become rehab units for patients recovering from strokes, heart attacks, joint replacement operations and amputations.
But emergency patients will have to go to Doncaster for treatment.
The first consultation will focus on the rehab unit plans, plus endoscopic investigations and the acute management of hip fractures.
This will be followed by a second 90-day consultation in October, to consider wider plans affecting Montagu, Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital.
These include changes to children’s services, obstetric and gynaecology services and developing Bassetlaw Hospital.
Dr Lis Rodgers, a family doctor at Barnburgh and medical adviser to NHS Doncaster, said: “The review is being led by doctors but we are keen to involve local people in developing and agreeing the options for the future that will then be taken out for public consultation.”
The scheme is backed by two of the hospital’s most senior consultant physicians, Dr Richard Leigh and Dr David Cooper.
They believe the number of people admitted to Montagu with “acute medical conditions” has decreased, and that local people would be “proud” to have a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre.
But Mexborough councillors David Holland and Sue Phillips are opposing the plans.
Coun Phillips said: “I hope the public of Mexborough will get behind us and make it clear to NHS Doncaster how we feel about the downgrading of our hospital.”
Once the consultation period has been completed all the responses will be analysed to enable the boards of NHS Doncaster and NHS Bassetlaw to reach conclusions and recommendations in 2012.