A CALL for the Save the Alex campaign to change its name to Support the Alex brought a stormy response from some 40 protesters who’d crowded into the council chamber for Tuesday night’s full council meeting.
The appeal came from Councillor Juliet Brunner (Con, M’boro) as she seconded a motion from council leader Coun Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) in support of the Woodrow Drive hospital.
The motion was unanimously carried but Coun Brunner closed her speech with the words: “The people of Redditch now have a cast iron guarantee from (Chief Nurse) Jan Stevens that the Alex is going no where.
“We now call upon the campaign group Save the Alex in moving forward to rename themselves ‘Support the Alex’.
“Let’s give encouragement to the staff, offer real hope to the people of Redditch.”
Speaking after the meeting she added: “My concern is the staff, they have gone through a lot of turmoil and we need to support them. I’d also encourage everyone to have their say on the consultation process when it gets underway.”
However Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign group hit back: “I’ll ask the question of the people of Redditch – ‘do they think the Alex is saved?’
“Coun Brunner was at a Save the Alex march last year wearing a Save the Alex t-shirt. We’ve known since 2013 that the Alex isn’t closing – the issue is not whether it’s closing but what services are left inside for the people of this town.
The West Midlands Clinical Senate recommends they have ten A&E consultants at both the Alex and Worcestershire Royal, and we know that at the moment they have only 11 in total.
“It seems to me that when it comes to the services they want to cut, like paediatrics, they apply the gold standard of care, while with other services it’s make do and mend, and that’s not good enough for the people of Redditch.”