ALL emergency gynaecology services at the Alexandra Hospital are being transferred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital to ‘maintain patient safety’.
Health chiefs took the decision last Thursday (August 6) due to a lack doctors to cover both sites.
They say the move will remain in force until this Monday (August 16) 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, the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust say that full obstetric, maternity and neonatal services have been maintained on both sites.
Rab McEwan, chief operating officer at the trust which runs the hospitals, 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 speciality 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.”
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the health watchdog, inspects and monitors services, and has been critical of the Alex in the past.
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.”
Have you been affected by the move? How have you been treated? Let us know by calling the newsdesk on 01527 588688, or email editor@ redditchstandard.co.uk