Rugby’s Hospital of St Cross ‘will be protected’ by health reforms

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SERVICES at St Cross hospital will be protected when Rugby’s GP commissioning group takes over the role of Coventry and Warwickshire’s Primary Care Trust next year.

A report presented to Rugby Borough Council’s cabinet said the new set-up, which will take effect from April next year, will “strengthen, develop and protect” services at St Cross hospital. The report, by Dr Charlotte Gath, Rugby and Coventry Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) clinical lead, said that GPs recognised that making the best of St Cross was a priority for the local population.

The CCG will replace the current Primary Care Trust (PCT) in April next year and will be in charge of its budget, which will buy health care services from “any willing provider”. Some are concerned this will mean private companies under-cutting existing publicly-funded services. However, others say it will mean diversity, innovation, choice and efficiency.

The report from Dr Gath to the council said: “We are aware that concern has been expressed regarding future working in Warwickshire with a new combined CCG and hope the above provides some reassurance.

“We believe the benefits are of particular benefit to Rugby residents considering future services at St Cross.”

Dr Adrian Canale-Parola, chair of Rugby and Coventry CCG, added: “Patients can expect levels of local services to continue and expand at St Cross. We’ll be looking at the whole range of services available at UHCW and St Cross and will involve them as much as possible.

“That said, it’s important that some services aren’t duplicated as that will end up costing the group more money.”