Wiltshire

Wiltshire maternity services to be transferred

Community health services in Wiltshire and maternity care in parts of Somerset are to be transferred to Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In an announcement earlier, an NHS Wiltshire spokesman said the formal transfer would come into effect from 1 April next year.

He said services to patients would be unchanged.

The transfer is subject to the legal formalities and approval by independent regulator Monitor.

The NHS Wiltshire spokesman said: "Because of the preparatory work undertaken by NHS Wiltshire and Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, neither of these processes is thought to pose particular difficulties.

"Services to patients will continue unchanged as this is a transfer of organisational responsibility and not a change to the way services are delivered or the places where they are provided."

'New possibilities'

The government's revised Operating Framework for the NHS in England for 2010-11 requires primary care trusts to transfer the provision of services to different organisations by 1 April 2011.

The change will lead to the transfer to the trust of services currently provided by Wiltshire Community Health Services - such as district nursing - and those of Wiltshire Maternity Services, which provides care for women in north and west Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and parts of Somerset.

Jeff James, chef executive of NHS Wiltshire, said: "This opens up new possibilities for smoother links between care provided at home and care in hospitals.

"It ends a period of uncertainty for our clinical staff and enables and us all to focus on our main job, improving health and healthcare for the people we serve."

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