Worcestershire option for the Alex is 'unacceptable'

By Ian Dipple Wednesday 27 February 2013 Updated: 27/02 21:48

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Buy photos » Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust's option for the Alex has been branded unacceptable by campaigners. (s)

THE HEAD of the Save the Alex Campaign has branded the option for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust to continue to run the Alexandra Hospital 'unacceptable'.

Neal Stote said retaining just 75 per cent of children's, women's and A&E services at the Woodrow Drive site was not good enough while also blasting the decision to release details of what WAHT can provide before Birmingham Trusts have even been given a chance to work up their option.

"All they are doing is talking about what Worcestershire Acute Trust can provide and what they can provide is bitterly disappointing and an unacceptable level of care," he said.

"From discussions I have had my belief is the Birmingham option will provide us with a greater range of services nearer to the 85 to 90 per cent mark, including A&E, women's and children's care and a growing hospital generally.

"Birmingham providers must be allowed to work up their option and put it on the table."

MP Karen Lumley said the statement from the Joint Services Review team was 'misleading' as stroke and heart attack patients were already treated as specialist centres including Birmingham rather than at the Alex.

"There are two options on the table and it is important that University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) is given full acess to what they need to put forward a second proposals that residents and staff can look at and have their say on.

"I met with UHB last week and as far as they are concerned they want to grow the Alex, not downgrade it. We need grown up politics and grown up decision making.

"I was standing in the car park of the Alex this morning watching staff arrive for work uncertain about their jobs, the Trust should be ashamed of themselves."

Redditch Borough Council leader Bill Hartnett said he was 'extremely disappointed' about the 'silence' on what other providers could offer.

"One issue which came up again and again during consultation was access to services in Birmingham which are closer and we must wait to see and hear what they can offer."

Roger Hollingworth, leader of Bromsgrove District Council, said the statement was disgraceful and accussed hospital bosses in Worcestershire of trying to mask the fact there was a Birmingham option.

"There is no mention there is a second option only they will look at other possibilites. They are not being open and honest with the public and that's disgraceful."

Rebecca Blake, Labour's Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, added: "The strength of feeling from local people for the Alex has ensured that the fight is currently no longer about hospital closure.

"However, 55,000 people signed the petition for A&E and maternity services. We all must keep up the fight for these services to remain at the Alex. Today's announcement from WAHT of a downgrade is not acceptable for local people.

"If they cannot provide what local people need, other NHS providers must be involved. I would hate to think that local NHS bosses are in any way preventing other NHS providers from investigating how they can provide A&E, maternity and other services at the Alex."

More reaction to follow.

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