June 2012 – Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) came up with a plan to save £50 million by closing accident and emergency and the maternity unit at the Alex.
Aug 2012 – A rally organised by Save the Alex saw 1,500 march through the town centre in protest at the cuts, and this was followed by a petition containing 52,000 signatures also opposed to the threatened closure.
March 2013 – WAHT proposes spending an extra £35 million on its hospitals in Worcester, Kidderminster and Redditch, a move branded ridiculous by Save the Alex for a trust that only six months before had been desperate to save £50 million.
April 2013 – An online poll revealed what was self evident to anyone living in Redditch in Bromsgrove – that patients would rather go to Birmingham for treatment with its convenient transport links, than undertake the journey to Worcester.
Aug 2014 – Local MPs Sajid Javid (Bromsgrove), Karen Lumley (Redditch) and Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford) called for a fresh review of plans to downgrade services at the Alex after an independent panel ruled out forging links with University Hospitals Birmingham.
Feb 2015 – WAHT had worked up ‘Modified Option 1’ moving all serious emergency cases from the Alex to Worcester as well as all consultant-led maternity cases, sparking the resignation of five A&E consultants who said what would be left was ‘neither an A&E service nor safe.”
Their action led to an emergency ‘health summit’ into A&E services at the Alex to devise how it would cope without those key doctors.
Meanwhile modified option 1 plan is sent to the West Midlands Clinical Senate to assess how practical it is. However their report is continually delayed.
June 11 – Senate finally publishes its report – confirms that ‘modified option 1’ is unclinically unsustainable.
Doctors in Redditch and Bromsgrove say that, after four years WAHT has not come up with a robust enough model, that WAHT’s financial position is als ounsustainable and it is time to carry out an urgent review into all the options, irrespective of provider.