A CHURCH Hill resident angry at the loss of services at the Alexandra Hospital has put the local health trust to the test – by taking the bus to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester.
The Alex has seen maternity, emergency gynaecology and trauma cases all go to Worcester with in-patient paediatrics set to follow in September.
With Redditch having the lowest car ownership in the county, Derek Dixon put himself in the shoes of an ordinary borough family and caught the 350 bus from the Alex to the Royal.
“The 350 looked to be the obvious option, as part of the service description includes ‘Worcester Royal Hospital’ and it is described as providing ‘vital links’,” said Derek.
“But I was mistaken. I caught the advertised bus and after a pleasant journey I expected the bus to enter Charles Hastings Way and stop outside WRH. Not so. The bus instead continued on to the stop on Newtown Road. For someone who is elderly, disabled or travelling with children, possibly in the rain or cold or worse, it is a long walk from there to the hospital.”
The bus only runs four times a day with no Sunday service and costs more than £3 for a single and more than £5 for a return.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign said: “The state of public transport to Worcester Royal is horrific and unless the Trust can match a train service every 20 minutes with a shuttle bus like they have at the QE I can’t see people hopping on a community bus or taking taxis to Worcester.”
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust says it has set up a transport group to see what extra provion could be made.