ALL emergency gynaecology services at the Alexandra Hospital are being transferred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital to ‘maintain patient safety’.
Health chiefs took the decision yesterday, Thursday (August 6) due to a lack doctors to cover both sites.
They say the move will remain in force until a week next Monday (August 17) but will be reviewed on a daily basis.
It is estimated the decision will affect about ten patients a day, meaning both they and their families making visits will have to travel the 18 miles to Worcester.
However they say that full obstetric, maternity and neonatal services have been maintained on both sites.
Rab McEwan, Chief Operating Officer said: “In the last week, we have been unable to staff two obstetric and gynaecology inpatient sites, due to a shortage of middle grade and junior doctors.
“This week in August, doctors in training move from one rotation to another, which involves a change in specialty and/or hospital. So the shortage of doctors is being experienced nationally, not just in Worcestershire.
“Moving emergency gynaecology services to one site allows us to maintain full obstetrics and maternity services at both WRH and the Alex.
“Patient safety is our main concern, and we apologise to any patients who are inconvenienced by this temporary change to services.”
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save The Alex Campaign said: “They say that it will only affect ten patients a day, but to me that’s still a high number, so this is a bit of a blow, particularly as the Care Quality Commission didn’t highlight any concerns with obstetrics and care for women.”
Save The Alex flagged up their fears that gynaecology and maternity cases could be heading to Worcester eight weeks ago, something denied at the time by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
“In the four years that they’ve known they’d struggle to maintain services on both sites they have done nothing about contacting other providers,” said Mr Stote.
“They could have gone to the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and asked if they could help support services but they have done nothing.”