FOLLOWING news that medical experts unanimously backed centralising key NHS services at a Worcester hospital and closing them at Redditch, it has been revealed that talks are underway to potentially save the Alexandra Hospital.
Redditch MP Karen Lumley confirmed that commissioners at the Alex are in negotiations with University Hospitals Birmingham to take over the running of its key services.
The discussions with University Hospitals are running alongside the ongoing Joint Services Review (JSR) being undertaken by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, which is examining options including the removal of vital services at the Alex.
It is hoped that about 90 per cent of what the hospital currently does will remain if a deal is secured with University Hospitals Birmingham.
Mrs Lumley said: “I decided to make the private discussions with University Hospitals Birmingham open and transparent as I feel it is only right local people are made fully aware of the facts at a time of great uncertainty.
“My overwhelming priority is to help ensure the best possible continuation of healthcare services for the people of Redditch.”
The MP has also launched a campaign website, savemyhospital.com, which will allow residents to show how much they value their services by signing an online petition which will be delivered to PM David Cameron.
Neal Stote, head of the Save the Alex Campaign, welcomed news of the talks.
"It is good news that University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Woman’s NHS Foundation Trust are in talks with the Redditch & Bromsgrove Commissioning Group with the view to provide of services at the Alexandra Hospital Redditch.
"We are also pleased these talks are taking place with the full support of the other Worcestershire based Clinical Commissioning Groups which means they are also supporting services at the Alexandra Hospital.
"Services that are now looking to be saved at the hospital include both routine and emergency care as well as services for women and children, all of which were at risk under the original plans put forward on June 14 2012.
"The full detail of service provision at the Alexandra Hospital is yet to be confirmed and as we all know the devil can be in the detail.
"The campaign will be asking to meet with the Redditch and Bromsgrove Commissioning Group along with the new potential providers so we can fully understand what services they hope to provide."
He added: "It's been disappointing for the campaign to have seen scaremongering which did not represent what has actually been happening behind the scenes.
"The Campaign has felt for a long time the public should know the true facts and that their voices and views were being listened to.
"Today’s news represents a small win for the Save The Alex Campaign and for all those who want to see services retained at the hospital. It also represents many hours of lobbying by the campaign, and for those who said it was a done deal we have proved them wrong."
It has also been revealed that Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter MP, has agreed to visit the Alexandra Hospital on April 16.