By Ian Dipple Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 25/01 12:48
COMMISSIONERS have confirmed they are in talks with three Birmingham Trusts about potentially providing services at the Alexandra Hospital.
Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group announced they were in negotiations with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, as well as Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
It followed a decision by Redditch MP Karen Lumley to break her silence over the behind the scenes talks in response to a report in a rival publication which suggested clinicians had decided to centralise essential services such as A&E, maternity and paediatrics into Worcester.
Dr Jonathan Wells, chair and clinical lead of Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We are determined the Alex remains a thriving local hospital providing a wide range of services for local people.
"We intend that these include both routine and emergency care as well as services for women and children.
"Our discussions with the Birmingham based NHS Foundation Trusts have been very positive and we are continuing to work with these Trusts and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on a comprehensive model of care for local people.
"There is a lot more work to do but we are optimistic about the future. There will need to be change but we will ensure that this is in the interests of local people."
No details have been revealed about the range of services they will be able to provide but commissioners have previously hinted it is unlikely they will be able to maintain services in their current form at the Woodrow Drive site, as issues with funding and a lack of doctors in certain specialities remain.
But about 90 per cent of what the Alex currently does will remain under any deal, which the Standard understands will include some form of A&E, maternity and paediatric services.
Political leaders have continued to react to the announcement.
Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: "It is increasingly clear WAHT cannot give us the hospital we need and is reported to be moving towards centralising services in Worcester. This isn’t good enough for our residents.
"As far as we are concerned, it doesn’t matter which set of managers runs our hospital as long as our essential local services are retained. We will support the best offer on the table for our residents and if alternative providers such as UHB can make a better offer then we would welcome that.
"This option should have been looked at from the very start, as a lot of pain and heartache for patients, residents and staff alike may have been avoided."
Roger Hollingworth, leader of Bromsgrove District Council, added: "I have been talking to UHB since day one. UHB have worked very hard to ensure their offering meets the requirements of the residents of Redditch, Bromsgrove and the Warwickshire areas.
"They have the money and have promised investment in the Alexandra site. This is a far better solution for our residents."
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