SAVE the Alex campaigners are still waiting for the report on the future of acute hospital services in Worcestershire to be published – even as politicians talk about it paving the way for ‘a thriving hospital for Redditch’.
In fact the report has only been seen in draft form – last Thursday the Redditch Standard was told it would be published by the West Midlands Clinical Senate ‘in a few days’.
One week later there’s still no sign of it, causing alarm among those fighting to retain the maximum range of services at the Alex.
“There’s been a deafening silence from the West Midlands Clinical Senate (WMCS) on this and it does make you wonder what the delay is,” said Neal Stote, chairman of Save the Alex.
“This whole fiasco has been dragging on for years now and for politicians to be commenting on it before it is published is just plain wrong. The whole thing is a farce.”
Redditch MP Karen Lumley, who last week met Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and other Worcestershire MPs to discuss the long-delayed report said in a statement earlier this week: “This model has now been agreed by every stakeholder in our county.
“The proposals will now move to a consultation period which I’m hoping will start in September where all residents will be able to have their say. There will be public meetings where people will be able to go along and express their views which is what I hope people will do. I want everyone to look at the proposals closely.
“However I am certain we will see a thriving hospital in Redditch now with new services arriving.”
Chris Tidman chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Following visits in May the West Midlands Clinical Senate has now completed its final review on the countywide reconfiguration plans and we have seen a draft report that endorses the model.
“Once the final report has been published the plans will go through the NHS England assurance phase and we hope to move to a CCG-led public consultation in September 2016.”