Hospital consultation could be delayed

By Connie Osborne Thursday 28 August 2014 Updated: 29/08 08:02

THE PUBLIC consultation on changes to the Alexandra Hospital could be delayed until after the next general election.

Commissioners who are reviewing hospital services across the county have been told plans to downgrade A&E, maternity and paediatrics at the town's hospital need to be approved by senior clinicians on the West Midlands Clinical Senate.

Commissioners want to begin the 12-week consultation at the end of October to ensure the project is completed before next March when purdah begins - the politically-sensitive time before elections take place.

But that timetable is now in serious doubt as even if the senate is able to meet in the near future, the process still needs to be signed off by NHS England and it is unclear how long that will take.

And despite a spokeswoman for the review insisting consultation would begin before the general election she said it was not known when the senate would meet.

NHS England has already refused to allow the proposals to be put to the public once because of concerns about the business case supporting the planned changes, which derailed plans to start consultation in September.

Neal Stote, leader of the Save the Alex campaign, said the postponement was frustrating but allowed time to look at all of the options.

He added he wanted chiefs to focus on option two - the Birmingham option - which council leaders in the borough and surrounding areas, as well as MPs, called for earlier this month.

He said: "It is now clear that NHS England has deep concerns that can not be resolved quickly.

"I see this delay as an opportunity for the NHS to finally grasp the nettle and see what services would be like if it delivered in collaboration with one or more Birmingham providers.

"I plead with the review team along with Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust to work with the Birmingham providers, what are they afraid of?"

A spokeswoman for the county's CCGs said: "NHS England has clarified the model for acute hospital services in Worcestershire must be approved by the West Midlands Clinical Senate before it can go to public consultation.

"The West Midlands Clinical Senate’s work will include consideration of the Independent Clinical Review Panel whose findings, which were published in January this year, formed the basis for the proposed changes to local acute hospital services."

She added following the senate's approval the model would also need approval by NHS England before it could go to consultation.

Share This

Popular »

1 Vintage shop steps back in time

2 Bid to bring new life to Redditch market

3 Club gets go ahead to expand

4 Fears for Redditch patients after Worcester meltdown

5 Woman dies in crash near Wythall

More news »

Catch them young

TOP tips from some of the country’s leading

Buses all there at once to mark 25th

VISITORS turned out en-masse to mark the 25th

Miracle baby's name inspired by hospital

A MIRACLE baby has been named after Redditch’s

Tuck in to tasty tribute to Hench

DINERS at an Oakenshaw pub will soon be

Regional news »

Bromsgrove Standard
Second man arrested over Northfield murder

A SECOND man is being held in connection with the ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.

Stratford Observer
District council hands over £2,215 of travel tokens to charity

STRATFORD District Council has handed over £2,215 worth of unused ...

Evesham Observer
Body of missing Pershore man found

OFFICERS searching for missing Pershore man Ernest Upward have discovered ...