DOCTORS fear patients will be put at risk if the current proposals for the future of the Alexandra Hospital are given the green light.
GPs from the 22 practices across Redditch and Bromsgrove – who make up the Clinical Commissioning Group advisory forum – have written to their governing body expressing their concerns over the clinical and financial safety of the plans.
Currently only one option is on the table which would see the Alex remain within the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust but campaigners and politicians have been calling on decision makers to fully consider the second option, which would see the hospital handed to an alternative provider likely to be University Hospitals Birmingham.
In the letter sent today (Tuesday), the doctors said: “We work closely with our hospital colleagues, and we know that there are issues that have been raised around clinical safety, staffing and training recognition which remain unaddressed, and which are a major risk for the clinical sustainability of the model. We believe that the model should not progress further until it is supported by the doctors and nurses at the Alexandra hospital.
“Dr David Hughes former chair of R&B CCG wrote on our behalf previously. In this letter he expressed our concern that alternative options involving alternative providers were not being explored . We were promised that all options would be fully worked up and addressed. We understood that this had been carried out as part of the ICRP process, however it now transpires that this is not the case; other providers were not approached or provided with activity data to allow them to work up an alternative model.
“As local GPs we need to be confident that the services to which we refer our patients and the secondary care that they receive in both elective and emergency situations is of the highest possible standard, is accessible, and is clinically and financially sustainable. We do not believe that Modified Option 1 in its current form achieves these aims, and do not therefore support taking it to public consultation at this time. We also insist that work is carried out without delay to fully work up all possible options, including a full and proper work-up of Option 2.”
Save The Alex chair Neal Stote said it was reassuring for campaigners to see it was not just the public voicing their concerns, but the professionals too.
“We are really pleased that they have put this letter together and I really hope now the board will listen and look again and work up all possible options including a full and proper work up of Option 2.”
Karen Lumley MP said everybody in Redditch and Bromsgrove, as well as politicians at all levels, was ‘saying the same thing’.
“Now the doctors who deliver the services on the ground are saying it too. It’s got to be right, we don’t want to be here again in two years’ time because the services are not what they should be and not what the people want and deserve.”
Rebecca Blake, Labour’s Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, added: “I am so pleased that our local forum of GPs have voiced their opposition to the forthcoming consultation. We were promised a second option would be worked up and that is what the majority of local people want to see and rightly deserve.
“I am very concerned to learn GPs have identified that patient safety has not been satisfactorily worked through the proposed option. This brings the judgement of the Independent Clinical Review Panel even further into question.”