THE ALEXANDRA Hospital is set to get seven new operating theatres as part of plans to make it a centre of excellence.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is working on a £33million funding bid for the build and it is hoped the cash will come from the sale of some land on the site where a new Aldi supermarket has been proposed.
The Trust identified the 0.7-hectare plot between Quinneys Lane and Woodrow Drive which it deemed ‘surplus to healthcare requirements’.
The seven existing theatres would be retained for two years once the new build was complete.
Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said the role of the Alex as a centre of excellence for planned (elective) surgery played a key part of its vision for hospital services as set out in the Clinical Services Strategy.
Also included was the introduction of robot assisted surgery by the end of this year.
“This would help to deliver a significant increase in the number of patients undergoing surgery and help us to reduce waiting times for patients from across Worcestershire and beyond.”
If the outline and full business case approvals go to plan, work is expected to start next year with the theatres ready to open the following year.
The Bromsgrove-based Hinton Group has worked with the trust to bring forward proposals for the new Aldi and said all proceeds from the sale would be reinvested in future developments at the Alex by the trust under the NHS property disposal policy.
It also vowed to work with the trust to ensure no parking space was lost and, if needed, replacement spaces would be made available.
Labour councillor Juma Begum said: “This is being touted as investment for the Alex, and an improvement in local services.
“But it falls short of local expectations – the people of Redditch want to see maternity and paediatric services on the Alex site, not a place to buy milk and nappies.”
Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said: “This further development does not impact, in any way, my campaign to return a maternity and children’s service to the Alex.
“This land sale would not prevent the Alex from expanding in the future. Quite clearly the Alex can still continue to expand.
“As I’ve always said, the Alex has a bright future ahead of it, with the investment it needs and deserves on its way.”
She highlighted the brand new, purpose-built breast imaging unit which opened in February and the confirmation the Garden Suite would be returning to the Alex.
People should visit consultwithyou.co.uk/hintongroup/redditch to give their views on the Aldi plans.