WELCOME to the first in a new series of articles in which I will try and keep you abreast of goings-on in Westminster and in Redditch, as well as hopefully providing an interesting insight into the work of an MP.
But this week I thought I would let you know what I am doing following the devastating news of the temporary closure of the Maternity ward at the Alexandra Hospital. I have been aware there were concerns over neo natal services over the past few weeks, but it came as a shock to me that the Maternity ward would temporarily be moved to Worcester.
I found out myself last Friday from the Chairman of the Trust and together with my colleague Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove, contacted the Trust Development Agency, the body that oversees trusts to see what could be done.
I have written to the Acting CEO at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, asking for reassurances this is temporary and asking whether or not he is talking to other trusts about providing services which are nearer than Worcester. I do understand how difficult it is to get to Worcester and that some mums-to-be would prefer to go to another local provider.
I have also had a discussion with the Chair of Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group who was as shocked as I to hear the news. Last Saturday I had a call with the regional director from the TDA and have also spoken with the Minister responsible for hospitals to ask him to look into this as a matter of urgency.
Sajid and I have a meeting planned with the Secretary of State and the TDA and have invited local Council leaders to join us so everyone is aware of the feeling in Redditch. I want to make it clear that I cannot support an unsafe service which I am being told this will become, and as a mum myself I want for mums in Redditch the standard of service I had myself.
This whole review into health services across Worcestershire has gone on far too long and it seems it is always Redditch that loses out. I want to assure you I am doing everything I can to sort out this situation.
To keep up to date with what I am doing, visit http://www.tellkaren.com/ or follow https://www.facebook.com/Karen4RedditchCounty/ or https://mobile.twitter.com/tell_karen.