NHS commissioners for Maidenhead have reaffirmed their commitment to the town’s St Mark’s Hospital site.
A wide variety of services is either provided at the hospital, in St Mark’s Road, or delivered by teams based at the site and in recent months service provision has even increased.
NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which plans and funds the majority of health services provided to the local population – is aware of a story circulating questioning the future viability of the hospital.
Caroline Farrar, the CCG’s Executive Managing Director for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “Since we reiterated our commitment to the St Mark’s site in October last year nothing has changed to affect that support. In fact quite the reverse, in that we have worked with local GP practices to provide more services from St Mark’s, where a new GP-led urgent care service is helping to tackle the difficulties some people have been experiencing in accessing face-to-face appointments.”
Other services also operating at or from St Mark’s include hospital outpatient clinics, community midwifery, x-ray and blood tests, community services, mental health, physiotherapy, podiatry, frailty and specialist nursing services. There are also community inpatient beds.
The new urgent care service – available through GP practices – can provide many more face-to-face patient appointments every week than were available previously through the urgent care centre at St Mark’s, which was suspended at the height of the pandemic. The service was suspended to reduce the risk of infection to patients and staff and also to enable
health services to focus resources on where they are needed most. The emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant of Covid-19 in late 2021 has reinforced the need for enhanced infection prevention and control measures at St Mark’s, and also led to the renewed redeployment of many health staff.
The CCG has previously stated that closure of the urgent care centre is not being considered and that a wider public engagement exercise will be held on how services post-pandemic can best be delivered, including building on the gains of current GP-led initiatives.