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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Wards to close in 12m NHS cuts
Doctor and patient (generic)
South Worcestershire PCT is making 13m savings
Two hospital wards are to close as part of a plan to tackle a 12.8m debt run up by an NHS trust.

The board of South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust (PCT) agreed a package of measures to cut costs.

Plans to shut Pershore Hospital before a new one opens have been put on hold, but Evesham Community Hospital will lose Bredon Ward and Macmillan Unit.

Cuts in school nurses, sexual health clinics and out-of-hours GP surgeries are still subject to consultation.

Worcestershire County Council will give its views before the end of June.

The council could rule that formal public consultation is needed on the cuts.

It was inevitable we would have to agree a very uncomfortable programme of cost reductions
David Barlow
The PCT has asked the Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership Trust to make significant savings.

It was also decided savings could be made by only opening 10 beds in the new hospital this financial year.

From 1 April 2007 the PCT would expect to gradually open all the beds.

Older people and others needing rehabilitation care at Evesham Community Hospital's 22-bed Bredon Ward would be catered for by a converted fast-track day rehabilitation unit with 13 beds.

A revamped palliative care service would replace the same hospital's five-bed Macmillan Unit.

The PCT plans to postpone the development of new services both in and out of hospitals.

David Barlow, the Chairman of South Worcestershire PCT, said: "We are obliged to balance our books and cannot spend money we do not have.

"It was, therefore, inevitable that we would have to agree a very uncomfortable programme of cost reductions."

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