Fight to save the Alex is not over say campaigners

By Ian Dipple Tuesday 05 March 2013 Updated: 05/03 09:43

A RALLYING call has been issued to the people of Redditch and the surrounding area to continue to fight for the future of the Alexandra Hospital.

Neal Stote, chairman of the the Save the Alex Campaign, said he was furious at the way the findings of the JSR had been released leading many residents feeling the deal had been done and the Woodrow Drive site was to be downgraded with patients having no choice but to travel for Worcestershire Royal for services.

Residents are being urged to attend the Save the Alex public meeting at the Palace Theatre on Monday (March 11) at 7pm to hear the facts for themselves and question the commissioners who will be responsible for making the final decision in November.

"I must stress there is still much to be saved at the Alex and I am clear the Save The Alex Campaign, backed by the public and political parties of all colours, has not 'lost' and indeed with three of the worst case models that were in the frame now scrapped and GPs seeking to look to other providers, the campaign has had a significant impact and will continue to fight for its local hospital," Mr Stote said.

"Birmingham University Hospital Trust, Birmingham’s Women’s Hospital and Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital are looking to come forward with an option about how they would run the Alex and invest in it for the future.

"This could prove a much better choice for the Alexandra Hospital and the communities that rely on it. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who currently run the Alexandra Hospital and who were the only players in the Joint Service Review, are no longer the only show in town.

"If these Birmingham based providers did take over the running of the Alex it would also mean for services not provided at the Alex you would travel to Birmingham not Worcester.

"Save the Alex is determined to ensure the public continue to be at the heart of the decisions that will affect future services provided at the Alexandra Hospital."

Mr Stote added he was bitterly disappointed both options would see the loss of some services at the Alex as neither Worcester or Birmingham are able to provide a full A&E, full maternity and full paediatrics because of a national shortage of middle grade doctors and consultants in certain specialities.

"We heard some of the detail of Worcestershire Acute Hospital’s preferred option last week but there are many questions and concerns about this option, not least its financial sustainability and ability to deliver for patients," he added.

"It is disappointing that the Worcestershire NHS Joint Service review only focused on a one provider solution, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. However this review is now over and the county’s three Clinical Commission Groups, made up of GPs, are now in charge of the next stages. They will buy services for the hospitals in Worcestershire in future and they are agreed they want to see what the Birmingham providers can offer at the Alexandra. They also want a full public consultation to take place about both options before final choices are made."

Campaigners will also have a stall on Redditch market on Saturday and will be gathering feedback from residents. Tickets will also be available for the meeting or can be booked by calling the box office on 01527 65203.

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