By Ian Dipple Thursday 10 October 2013 Updated: 10/10 17:19
A SENIOR doctor has warned of 'hospital review fatigue' as he urged the public to have their say on GP's plans to keep A&E and maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital.
Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, said he feared many people were tiring of the ongoing review of the county's hospital services - now entering its 21st month - and felt they could no longer affect the outcome.
The CCG, which will help make the final decision regarding the review, recently released its draft prospectus for 2014/15 onwards which will be compared against the two options currently being scrutinised for the Alex and sets out the group's intention to keep at least a 14 hour A&E at the Woodrow Drive site and a consultant led maternity service.
But Dr Wells said the response had so far been 'fairly slow' and he urged the public to take the chance to comment on the plans either by showing their support, concerns or views on issues such as access and transport links.
"I am worried the public is suffering from a bit of hospital review fatigue. I know from talking to my patients in my surgery there's a lot of frustration about the time taken to do the review, they are telling me they are getting tired of the process, they are fed up no decision has been made and some people are beginning to feel there's a foregone conclusion here and nothing can be done to change that," he said.
"I'd like to make it absolutely clear, genuinely that is not the case, no decision has yet been made so it is incredibly important people read the prospectus and let us know their views."
Save the Alex campaigners point out the public have already made it clear they want to see A&E and maternity services retained through the 55,000 strong petition, public meeting last March or through individual letters.
But Dr Wells said while they had listened to those views to help produce the prospectus, the latest consultation was the first formal opportunity for people to say whether they agreed with doctors intentions or not.
"We know it may be frustrating for people to feel they have to tell us yet again but it is vitally important people do write in and let us know because that then gives us strong backing for the prospectus in terms of us knowing we are reflecting the views of the patients and public as the review moves forward."
Residents can also have their say by emailing email@example.com or write to Simon Hairsnape, chief officer, Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, Barnsley Court, Barnsley Hall Road, Bromsgrove, B61 0TX. The deadline is Friday, October 25.
Visit www.redditchandbromsgroveccg.nhs.uk/news/rbccg-draft-prospectus/ to read the document.
Save the Alex has also independently produced and distributed 20,000 leaflets asking for comments.
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