‘ALARMING’ plans to split Warwickshire in a bid to focus healthcare services have been revealed.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) will shape the future of local healthcare in the region.
Service providers, from hospital trusts to GP practices, have been told they must save £267 million over five years, and the newly-revealed plans are set to save around £207 million towards that target.
Prevention of illness is a major focus and to do this STP chiefs says they must split the population into groups of between 30,000 and 50,000 to target services to local healthcare needs.
The has led Warwickshire, with a population of just over 500,000, to be divided into 22 areas, and Coventry, with a population of 317,000, could potentially have as many as ten.
The eventual aim is to create an as yet unspecified number of hubs across the region built around the healthcare needs of each area.
But Stratford councillor Peter Moorse says he finds the proposals ‘alarming’
He said: “’We know that the NHS under its STP is looking at hubs for the delivery of many services. The geographic maps for south Warwickshire have now been published and frankly I find them alarming.
“If these are the areas that are to be served by the hubs, they are enormous. One stretches from the M42 down to Bidford, another from north of Wellesbourne down to Long Compton. The distances to be travelled by residents would in many cases be impractical.”
But Warwickshire County Council say some of the hubs may not be actual locations but instead provide information online.
A council spokeswoman said: “The rationale for identifying the geographies was to look at local areas and provide a common evidence base which supports health and well-being partners across Warwickshire to understand the health and well-being needs of communities at a local level.
“The hubs are being developed across Warwickshire, these hubs could be physical locations – such as in ibraries – or virtual. These types of hubs will understand the health and wellbeing needs of the community.”