Panel leader hits back at GP claim

By Ian Dipple Friday 31 January 2014 Updated: 31/01 18:10

SUGGESTIONS patients in Redditch and Bromsgrove are being asked to ‘take a hit’ on their hospital services to protect the rest of Worcestershire have been rejected.

Dr Nigel Beasley, who led the independent panel which devised the recommendations for the future of the Alexandra Hospital released last week, denied the claim from Bromsgrove GP David Law it felt like the two areas were losing their services so the rest of Worcestershire could keep theirs.

But Dr Beasley said while he understood there were issues about access and the loss of maternity, he added: “We did not feel anyone was taking a hit. Services will be improved overall.

“There will be benefits to the whole population of Worcestershire.”

He added they had changed the original option one - which would have seen the Alex’s A&E downgraded to an urgent care centre - so A&E would remain as an emergency centre because of concerns about the impact on patients in Redditch and Bromsgrove.

“There were concerns about 15,000 adults pitching up at the door in ambulances. We felt option one would not be an effective way of managing those patients. Just taking them to Worcester did not seem adequate to us.”

His comments came during a meeting of Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG’s Governing Body last Thursday (January 23) where the proposals for the Alex were backed.

Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of the CCG, said: “We have been working as a CCG for the last 18 months to get the best possible outcome for this area. We think this is a clinically sustainable model and we will be fighting hard within the system to make sure it is implemented in full and it is our firm intention to do that.”

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust also backed the reconfiguration plan at a board meeting on Wednesday (January 29) as a safe and sustainable model to deliver services into the future.

Chris Fearns, the Trust’s director of strategic development, added: “There’s an absolute commitment from this organisation to work collaboratively with commissioners and clinicians across the county to finalise and do the final work up regarding the modifications the independent panel have proposed and make sense of those for ourselves locally and be able to go out to public consultation which is what we have all been aiming towards.”

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