Cheshire children's hospital service reprieved until June

Image copyright Dennis Turner/Geograph
Image caption The Countess of Chester Hospital runs the service

A closure-threatened service which allows sick children in west Cheshire to be treated at home has received a two-month reprieve.

The Countess of Chester's 'Children's Hospital at Home' service will continue until the end of June, when a review will recommend a long-term plan.

Parents said ending the scheme would have a "disastrous impact on families".

NHS commissioners said they "fully understand and accept the concerns raised".

The service sees medical staff travelling to patients' homes to administer treatment and help with long term care.

In April NHS commissioners announced the service would be discontinued because planned savings due to be achieved by the scheme had "not been realised".

'Money is tight'

But parents and MPs criticised the decision. A petition has so far been signed by more than 5,000 people.

A West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said the service will now continue in its current form until the end of June, when a review of paediatric services will inform its long term future.

The CCG added: "We recognise money is tight and by continuing talks between clinicians and commissioners as well as listening to our patients we are confident that we can find a more affordable service solution."

The commissioning group needs to save £11.5m from its budget by April 2017, after registering overspends over the last financial year.

The hospital's chief executive has promised it will "do better" at communicating with patients about major changes in future.

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