By Ian Dipple 21/06 Updated: 22/06 10:41
HEALTH bosses have been forced to add an extra public meeting in Redditch to discuss hospital changes after the initial date was booked out within days.
The extra event will take place on Tuesday, July 10 at Redditch Town Hall at 6pm and will be used to outline to the public the financial and clinical reasons behind the review and the four models of care released last week which potentially could see the loss of A&E and maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital.
Initially only 60 places were on offer for what was the only event on the calendar on Monday, July 2, also at Redditch Town Hall. Although the limit was later increased to 93 places due to demand by Wednesday (June 20) there was no space left. It led to accusations from campaigners Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, which runs the Alex, was not interested in 'listening' to the public.
But a spokeswoman for the Trust said they now hoped to make about 100 places available at both events but stressed they were not 'traditional big public meetings' although the format of the event has also been changed from workshops to a more formal presentation style.
"We are trying to make sure as many people as possible get the opportunity to have their say which is why due to demand we have added an extra meeting at both Redditch and Kidderminster," she said.
"The meetings will discuss countywide issues, it won't be specific to Redditch, so people can book where there is space at other meetings in Bromsgrove, Pershore and Worcester.
"This won't be the only chance for people to have their say, there will be other opportunities during the summer before formal consultation begins."
Neal Stote, who is leading the Save The Alex Campaign, said it was a step in the right direction.
"They know a lot of people in Redditch and North Worcestershire are concerned. 193 people for a population of 75,000 odd in Redditch alone, that's not a very big percentage. They need to do more to engage with people in Redditch and the wider area. I would encourage them to get themselves to the likes of Studley, Mappleborough Green and Alcester where we're getting strong demand for campaign information and a lot of people supporting that campaign."
To book a place call 01905 733981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who cannot attend can get an information pack from the same number and views can also be emailed to the above address.
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