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Independent Reconfiguration Panel

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what decision was reached in each case which she referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel; and by what date a decision is expected in each case which has not yet been decided. (122628)

The Secretary of State has referred four cases to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) for advice. The four cases equate to seven separate referrals from Overview and Scrutiny Committees (OSC). Details of the cases and their outcomes are listed. A further case in East Kent was referred to the IRP in April 2003 although this did not relate to a referral from an OSC.

In relation to the ‘Making it Better’ and ‘Healthy Futures’ cases, these are currently with the IRP for consideration. The IRP will advise on the cases by 26 June 2007 and the Secretary of State will make a final decision thereafter.

Cases referred by the Secretary of State for Health to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel:

Proposed changes to maternity services in Calderdale and Huddersfield:

Referred by: Calderdale and Kirklees Joint OSC

Outcome: IRP advice accepted in full by the Secretary of State with a decision to support the local NHS proposals for in-patient consultant-led maternity care to be centred on the Calderdale Royal hospital site together with an alongside midwife-led unit. A standalone midwife-led unit would be provided at the Huddersfield Royal infirmary site.

Acute services review in Hartlepool and Teesside:

Referred by: Stockton on Tees borough council, Middlesbrough council, Hartlepool borough council

Outcome: IRP advice accepted in full by the Secretary of State. IRP advice was that a modern hospital should replace the existing out-of-date hospital buildings and be provided on a new site in a well situated location accessible to the people of Hartlepool, Stockton on Tees, Easington and Sedgefield. Until the new hospital is open, consultant-led maternity and paediatric services should be centralised at the university hospitals of North Tees and a midwifery-led maternity unit and a paediatric assessment unit should be provided at the University hospital of Hartlepool in addition to elective surgery and emergency medical services, taking into account best practice.

‘Making it Better’ consultation on. the reconfiguration of in-patient services for women, babies, children and young people in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and High Peak:

Referred by: Salford OSC, Bury OSC, Rochdale OSC

Outcome: To be confirmed.

‘Healthy Futures’ reconfiguration of Hospital Services in the North East Sector of Greater Manchester:

Referred by: Rochdale OSC

Outcome: To be confirmed.