HEATHERWOOD Hospital will remain open for years to come and the site will be redeveloped.

The Shaping The Future programme that is looking into the future of healthcare in east Berkshire has confirmed that the hospital, which had been under threat of closure, will now remain open.

The details of which services will be provided at the site will form part of a consultation in the autumn and people will be able to hear proposals and offer their views in June and July.

Charles Waddicor, chief executive of NHS Berkshire PCT which is leading Shaping The Future, said: "We thought it was important to confirm our thinking around Heatherwood at the earliest opportunity given the level of public interest in the future of the hospital.

"Although a lot of detail still needs to be worked out, we can say categorically that Heatherwood will form an important part of future healthcare provision, as will all our other local hospitals and the Bracknell HealthSpace."

The Ascot Birth Centre at the hospital closed temporarily in September and its future will be determined as part of the consultation, however Ms Slinger has said that the Trust is unable to operate the centre because of the low number of births that happen there.

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