EXTRA funding has been secured which will hopefully let hospital bosses get on with long overdue improvements at the town's Alexandra Hospital.

It recently emerged that, as a result of increased costs from contractors, the £29.6million awarded to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in 2017 would no longer cover the cost of planned improvement works at the Alex.

The trust was awarded this funding by the government in 2017 to implement the plans outlined in the Future of Acute Services Review in Worcestershire.

Since then, £16 million from this has been used to build a link bridge at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and to refurb the Aconbury East Building which created a 28-bed ward.

This funding was also spent on several projects including improving the safety of the trust’s estate to enhance the quality of patient services.

The Alexandra Hospital hasn’t had any of the £29.6 million.

It had been hoped money would be spent on improvements to the elective care centre, endoscopy, children’s outpatients and an upgrade in theatres.

After discovering this funding would no longer cover the costs of works at the Alex due to inflationary pressures, Redditch MP Rachel Maclean lobbied the Health & Social Secretary, Matt Hancock, to increase the capital funding from £29.6 million to £31.9 million.

It has now been confirmed the Secretary of State agreed that his Department will provide it.

The trust will repay this capital funding to the Department in the coming years.

This now means that the trust can get on and submit their final business case and get the contractors in place to start the improvement works at the Alex.

Mrs Maclean said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. The trust can now get on and submit their final business case for the much needed improvement works at the Alex – something everyone in Redditch has waited far too long for.

“Now the trust has got the money they asked for, I’m now urging them to submit their final business case to the Department for Health & Social Care as soon as possible. We need to see this investment on the ground and the improvements made at the Alex which we were promised three years ago now."