Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ears, nose and throat clinics set to move in

Ears, nose and throat clinics set to move in

PART of the ear, nose and throat department at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading could move to Townlands Memorial Hospital in Henley.

It comes after the Henley Standard revealed that the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust wanted to increase the number of outpatient clinics at the £10million hospital, off York Road, by moving services into the vacant top floor.

It already provides about 16,000 appointments there every year but wants to double this as part of a strategy to develop care over the next few years. The trust currently provides dermatology, audiology, orthopaedics, rheumatology and ophthalmology clinics, among others.

In February it launched a urology service where patients can have their appointments, tests and diagnosis all on the same day.

The additional services it wants to provide would be freely available on the NHS.

Town councillor Ian Reissmann, who chairs the Townlands steering group, welcomed the proposal.

He said: “It’s really excellent news for everyone in and around Henley. The obvious thing to do is increase capacity at Townlands and reduce the problems of wider capacity at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. It has long waiting lists and there are difficulties parking.

“Since Townlands opened, outpatient services have about doubled and any more that we can get would be a good thing. We would also like to see services that aren’t currently provided at Townlands.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “The Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is carrying out a wide scale review of all its estate and looking at how we can best use our buildings and facilities.

“As part of this work we are looking at how we best use and provide services from all of the sites where we offer healthcare, including Townlands.

“We know that the ears, nose and throat department at the Royal Berkshire Hospital is facing challenges with its current facilities and our review will consider moving some parts of this service to another site, possibly Townlands.”

The top floor at Townlands has been empty since it opened in March 2016. It was originally due to house a 12-bed palliative ward to allow the relocation of the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed but the charity pulled out of the move in 2014.

NHS Property Services, which owns the building, has been looking for a tenant ever since.

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