Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot 'to stay open'

image captionHeatherwood Hospital was founded in 1922

A Berkshire hospital threatened with closure is to stay open.

Services at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot would "continue to be provided for years to come", an NHS Berkshire report stated.

Campaigner Carol Brooker said she "very much welcomed" the news following a year of uncertainty that led to resident and staff protests.

The hospital's birthing unit closed in September and will stay shut until the NHS Trust has finished a consultation.

NHS Berkshire chief executive Charles Waddicor said: "We can say categorically that Heatherwood will form an important part of future healthcare provision."

A public consultation will start in September about the changes to be made to facilities on site.

Philippa Slinger, chief executive of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "A future without Heatherwood simply does not stack up.

"We know there is still lots to do to bring both Heatherwood and Wexham Park up to the required standard for 21st century healthcare - but we hope this announcement will reassure people that Heatherwood has a long-term future."

Previously, options considered by the NHS Trust included closing Heatherwood with all services to come from nearby Wexham Hospital in Slough.

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