By Ian Dipple 23/07 Updated: 23/07 23:03
THE LOSS of A&E and maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital could leave thousands of people in South Warwickshire 'down the river'.
Stratford District Council unanimously backed a motion by Studley councillor Hazel Wright expressing concern at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust's failure to hold a public meeting or consult with residents affected by the Joint Services Review in Warwickshire as well as seeking talks with hospital bosses on the proposals.
Coun Wright said the Trust's case for change document did not even mention Warwickshire.
"In this document they acknowledge since the NHS was set-up in 1948 the population has changed and services need to change, but one thing has not changed and never will - residents need local, easily accessible services they can get to quickly and know they are going to be taken good care of," she said.
"I have a big challenge to the Trust. Before any decision is made I will introduce them to a young family in Studley, one child still in a push chair, the other with asthma that frequently needs attention, with very little money and no car to go with the family to get from Studley to Worcester and back home again. How will they get there? Try it, you can't do it."
Alcester councillor Susan Juned, who seconded the proposal, said she owed her life to the Alex after being treated there for appendicitis.
"I would not have made it had I had to go all the way to Warwick and I was reminded of that the next day by the consultant," she added.
Coun Peter Oakley, who represents Tanworth, said there were large swathes of people across Stratford District who relied on the Alex, especially as the future of the A&E at nearby Solihull was uncertain.
"For Arden residents they could be left travelling to a hospital on the East side of Birmingham or all the way into deepest Worcestershire."
Coun Izzy Seccombe was also critical of the Trust for not consulting with Warwickshire County Council or GPs on the South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group while Coun Peter Barnes, who represents Welford, added: "If we let this happen we are going down the river."
Council leader Chris Saint said together with his counterparts on Bromsgrove and Redditch councils they were seeking a joint meeting with health ministers.
"The issue is when people are unwell and need treatment they don't want to fret and worry about county boundaries."
More than 36,000 people have signed the petition against the loss of A&E and maternity services at the Alex.
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