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“It is our hospital and its future is still very much in our hands”
2:40pm Monday 4th March 2013 in News
“IT is our hospital and its future is still very much in our hands.”
That is the rallying cry from The Save the Alex Campaign in response to the recent speculation surrounding the future of services at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital.
The campaign group has issued a call to the public to keep fighting for the future of the hospital, which could be downgraded following a review into the future of health services.
Campaign chairman Neal Stote said: “I am furious in the way the conclusions of Joint Service Review were announced on February 26.
“The tone and lack of clarity of the announcement has left residents feeling that the deal has been done and that the Alex hospital will be downgraded with patients having no choice other than travel to Worcester Royal for the services that the Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust will concentrate there.
“I must stress there is still much to be saved at the Alex and I am clear that the Save The Alex Campaign, backed by the public and political parties of all colours, has not lost and indeed with three of the worst case models that were in the frame now scrapped and GP’s seeking to look to other providers, the campaign has had a significant impact and will continue to fight for its local hospital.”
Proposals put forward by the recent review would see about 25 per cent of emergency cases currently treated at the Alex instead handled in Worcester.
The A&E department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital would be enhanced to better deal with the county’s emergencies, including a round-the-clock consultant-led service with better links to specialist departments treating stroke and heart attack patients.
Children’s and women’s services at Redditch may also be affected, with high risk and complex obstetrics cases to be treated in Worcester, along with the sickest children.
A second option was mentioned, for another provider ( University Hospitals Birmingham) delivering services at the Alex but the review has said that this option “requires more work”.
Mr stote said: “It is disappointing that the review only focused on a one provider solution, Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust.
“Birmingham University Hospital Trust, Birmingham’s Women’s Hospital and Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital are looking to come forward with an option about how they would run the Alex and invest in it for the future.
“This could prove a much better choice for the hospital and the communities that rely on it.
“If these Birmingham based providers did take over the running of the Alex it would also mean for services not provided at the Alex you would travel to Birmingham not Worcester.”
He added: “I am of course bitterly disappointed that both options will mean some loss of service as no provider has been found that can overcome the national shortage of specialist and mid-grade doctors.
“There is a long way to go though. Save the Alex is determined to ensure the public continue to be at the heart of the decisions that will affect future services provided at the Alexandra Hospital.”
The campaign is holding a special public meeting on March 11 at the Palace Theatre in Redditch.
It will be an opportunity for people to engage with the Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commission Group, now responsible for commissioning future services at the Alex.
For more information about the meeting, starting at 7pm, visit savethealex.co.uk.