THE future of services at the Alexandra Hospital now rests with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after a top level delegation from the area visited him in Parliament on Wednesday (November 18).
During the interview local MPs Karen Lumley, Sajid Javid and Nadhim Zahawi together with Council leaders Bill Hartnett (Redditch), Margaret Sherrey (Bromsgrove) and Stratford district chairman Coun Mike Gittus described the loss of services at the Alex, including emergency gynaecology cover, the recent loss of maternity, the resignations of key staff and the loss of moral among staff.
The hospital is part of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which is running at loss expected to hit £58million this financial year. It has repeatedly failed to come up with a workable plan to properly cater for the health care needs of the people of north Worcestershire.
Campaigners now fear that the Alex could soon be in line to lose both its A&E cover and paediatric services.
The trust is now awaiting the publication of a Care Quality Commission report following an inspection in July, which is expected in two weeks.
Mr Hunt said: “The local leaders have made clear to me how important it is that we secure a lasting and expedient resolution.
“The upcoming publication of the Independent CQC Inspection report into Worcestershire services will serve as an important benchmark in moving forwards.
“Following this, I will be calling on NHS Improvement to present their plan for the future directly to me and to local MPs.”
Mrs Lumley said: “For the first time I came out of a meeting about the Alex feeling positive and I think we are now at the end game.
“I want to see a hospital that’s fit for purpose in Redditch and I do not care who runs it.
“I know I am asking the people of Redditch to wait again but I’m sure this time it will only be for a short period.”
The leader of Redditch borough council, Coun Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) said: “We said enough is enough, and that’s from all of us, from right across the political spectrum and the sense of anger the people of Redditch feel and the lack of car ownership and access in the town.”
However Neal Stote, chairman of Save the Alex, said: “At the moment it is all meaningless; we need to see the model of care to be introduced, otherwise it was just another meeting and after five years fumbling around we are no further in finding a solution.”