HEALTH minister Dr Dan Poulter will be visiting Redditch’s Alex Hospital next year.

The move comes as a result of a recent meeting in Westminster organised by town MP Karen Lumley.

Also at the meeting, organised to highlight the level of opposition to the Joint Services Review (JSR), was members of the Save The Alex campaign Neal Stote and Laney Walsh, as well as council leaders and other local MPs.

Following the meeting Mr Stote, head of the Save The Alex campaign, said: "It was a productive and positive meeting and I am encouraged the minister will actually be taking the time to visit the hospital in January.

“We have come a long way since June 14 and hope the final outcome will be far more positive than the JSR originally proposed which could have seen our hospital closed."

The JSR is part of a shake-up of how and at which of the county’s three hospital sites - Redditch, Worcester and Kidderminster - services are provided in the future.

This is because Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospitals, has to save £50 million over the next three years.

Mrs Lumley added: "I am very encouraged by the minister's positive response, this is a cross party campaign which believes that a safe sustainable solutions at the Alex is vital.

“Importantly the minister recognised the need for a speedy solution, something which is needed to address issues for providing good quality, long-term clinical care."

In a joint statement Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Council and Roger Hollingworth, leader of Bromsgrove District Council, said: "We feel the meeting was extremely positive and we are confident of a good outcome for our communities."

Currently commissioners are investigating an alternative solution with other healthcare providers to the current proposals.