By Ian Dipple 13/06 Updated: 15/06 10:55
THE MAN who led the campaign to save services at the Alex six years ago has vowed to fight any attempt to downgrade them again.
Neal Stote, who spearheaded the successful Save The Alex Campaign, told the Standard while he accepted there was evidence creating specialist centres for some services was better for patients, the arguments against centralising A&E and maternity into Worcester remained valid.
"I can't see what has changed in such a short space of time to justify in terms of clinical safety or financial viability for moving these services," he said.
"I don't know how you justify to a woman in labour it is safer to travel 30 or 40 minutes to Worcester rather than to their local hospital. I'm very keen we try to maximise accessibility of services to the extent that is consistent with patient safety.
"I want to know what we have behind all this. Is it financially driven or is patient safety? Let's not have the two confused."
Coun Rebecca Blake, who is also Labour's Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, added: "You can have the best services in the world but if people can't get to them what's the point?
"I know services have to change, we are living longer and that's something we have to deal with but it's another reason the Government shouldn't be spending £3.5billion on a massive reorganisation when the health service is facing such challenges."
Redditch MP Karen Lumley was briefed by health bosses in Parliament on Wednesday and insisted she had been assured it was not a done deal the Alex would lose its A&E and maternity services.
"They need to examine their options but this is not a done deal, there's nothing on the table currently that says Redditch will lose its A&E and they assure me out of those models Redditch could still be the hospital that hosts the county's A&E," she said.
"We need health services that are safe and delivering the best possible service for the people of Redditch. I want to listen to what people have to say and I urge them to write to me, attend the public meeting and get involved."
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