By Ian Dipple Thursday 12 September 2013 Updated: 13/09 10:39
CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the news former Redditch MP Jacqui Smith is to become chairman of University Hospitals Birmingham as a boost to efforts to save services at the Alexandra Hospital.
Ms Smith will officially take up the role on December 1 on a three year basis from current chairman Sir Albert Bore.
UHB has already signalled its interest in taking over the Alex as part of the ongoing review of hospital services and it is hoped the former Home Secretary's appointment will strengthen the case for taking the Woodrow Drive hospital out of the control of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, told the Standard: "It's of benefit Jacqui understands the needs of Redditch residents and the context within which this current review is set. As MP she was supportive of the Alex and the Save the Alex campaign and we look forward to working with her as option 2 (the Birmingham option) progresses."
Borough Council leader Bill Hartnett added: "I'm delighted for Jacqui and I'm sure she will do a wonderful job. If we get option two and Birmingham is allowed to bid then she already understands the asset the Alex is."
Ms Smith described the role as an 'immense honour'.
"Sir Albert did a really brilliant job in moving the hospital and getting it settled in the new building. His are big shoes to fill, but I'm really looking forward to building on his record of success and development."
Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham, said: "Sir Albert has been an excellent chairman over the past seven years, leading the Trust through significant change in turbulent times.
"However, I am delighted that in Jacqui Smith we have a worthy successor to Sir Albert."
TECHNICAL issues with the council's website means it
A MATCHBOROUGH man has been jailed for 13
THERE'S plenty to see and do in Redditch
A REDDITCH woman whose son received a life
SANTA is on his sleigh and touring Bromsgrove district, delivering ...
AS WE get ready to launch the Worcester Observer next ...
THE YOUNGER generation recently took over the running of the ...