11:49AM, Monday 17 December 2012
A state-of-the-art new surgical hospital earmarked for land at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot could be built by 2015.
The potential time-scale, if proposals are rubber-stamped, was revealed by Philippa Slinger, chief executive at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot and Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.
She was speaking at the Shaping the Future consultation event at St George's School, in St George's Lane, Ascot, on Thursday.
More than 60 people attended, firing questions and airing their health concerns at a panel of medical experts from across the area.
Ms Slinger said: "My hope is that the new hospital could be opened in 2015/16, but that will depend on the plans and architects. And we have to look at which is the best part of the site for it to be built on."
NHS bosses have put forward three proposals as part of an overhaul of health services across East Berkshire.
They are proposing Heatherwood's birth centre, minor injuries unit, and rehabilitation services ward are shut, and the hospital is turned into a specialist surgical facility.
Ms Slinger said Heatherwood would essentially be providing the same types of surgery it mainly provides now anyway, but with improved facilities.
The chief executive also said no decision has been made about what outpatient facilities are to be provided in Ascot as part of the overhaul. She said: "We are in discussions with clinical commissioning groups (CCG) about what is going to remain at the site and there is a view some of these outpatient services will continue.
"The others would go out to other venues on the basis that people want them closer to home and I expect it will all be decided in March sometime."
Another consultation event will take place at Ascot Racecourse on Wednesday, January 9 from 6-9pm.
The consultation for healthcare services in Bracknell and Ascot runs until January 31.
For more visit www.berkshire.nhs.uk/shapingthefuture
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