Wye Valley NHS Trust exploring five future options
An NHS trust in Herefordshire has said it will look at five options for the future of the county's hospitals, in a bid to save £8.8m.
The Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital and community health services, has to save the money to achieve foundation status by 2014.
The options include the trust being taken over, broken up, or forming a partnership with a private company.
The trust said a public consultation on the plans would happen later this year.
Alan Dawson from the trust said: "We're expected to achieve foundation status by April 2014 but we can't afford to do that on our own so we're looking at alternatives.
"Our commissioners are clear they want to retain services locally and that will always be our priority in this process."
The trust's five options
- Becoming the junior partner of a existing foundation trust.
- Going into partnership with a private organisation.
- Break up the trust with the services being run separately.
- Expand to include other services to create 'one-stop shop for health'
- Expand to increase the number of patients to increase income
Mr Dawson said it was "far too early" to say if jobs would have to be cut to save money.
The trust said that each of the five available options would guarantee long-term sustainability of key health and social care services in Herefordshire.
The Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, Jesse Norman, said "none of the options on the table were appropriate".
He said: "None of them will actually save money.
"The real task is to actually make a case for fairer distribution of money within the NHS in order to make sure healthcare services in Herefordshire are properly funded."
The government has a set a deadline of April 2014 for all NHS trusts to become foundation trusts.