`

Doncaster hospital A&E secure under new regional health plan but changes possible in maternity and child medicine

The future of Doncaster's A&E department under is secure under a regional hospital services review - but changes remain possible in other services.

Officials who are putting together the review into five areas of service in the major hospitals in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw have confirmed to Doncaster's NHS Clinical Commissioning Group that all six A&E departments in the region will be kept open.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Matt McLennan

Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Matt McLennan

The review found that enough staff were available for the service to be kept at all the sites

But they are looking at possible changes across four other areas.or work.

The HSR recommendations are:

• A&E would continue in the current six consultant led sites that are running at present.

• Maternity services could 'increase choice' with home births provided by midwifery led units. All hospitals would have midwifery led services for low risk women, and higher risk women would be cared for in larger consultant led units.

• Acutely ill Children could see more care at home or in the community, Seriously ill children would be cared for in units with more specialist input, explore focusing 24/7 paediatric units on fewer sites: One or two could become Paediatric Assessment Units open 14/7.

• Stroke services could see a standardised approach to early supported discharge and rehab services. There would be a pairing of sites which have a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit support services with those sites which have an Acute Stroke Unit.

• Gastroenterology units could explore consolidating evening and weekend cover onto three or four sites, so that all patients have access to 24/7 bleed cover at all times, if necessary on another site.

The Doncaster CCG has agreed the Health and Care Working Together in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw,partnership should now look into detail of how the plans should move forwards.

Doncaster CCG chairman Dr David Crichton said: "We're agreed as a governing body that more work should now be done on the specifics of the plans.

"I think it is worth re-iterating that Doncaster is to continue to have the same accident and emergency department it has always had, and as a committee we are pleased about that."

He added the recent Care Quality Commission inspection of the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, which rated it as requiring improvement, showed that there were challenges at the hospital which needed to be resolved.

Meanwhile, work to implement a previous service review, on hyper acute stroke services, can now move forward after a judicial review rejected a legal bid to block the plans.

Doncaster is due to be the site of one of three specialist hyper acute stroke units in the area.