HONK your horn or go down and lend your support to the Save the Alex campaign as they hold a 12 hour vigil outside the Alexandra Hospital in protest at the closure of the neonatal maternity unit there today.
Protesters are also urging people to sign a petition calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to take the Alex outside the control of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and place it with a trust which will care for the needs of the people of Redditch.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, said: “There is simply not the capacity at Worcester, Birmingham or the wider region to take the 2,000 women who now have nowhere to give birth as a result of this disgraceful decision.
“This dangerous and unplanned downgrade is a result of four years of failure by WAHT and local commissioners to agree a proper clinical model which could deliver safe and sustainable services. And it won’t stop there. Once maternity goes evidence shows A&E and paediatrics will follow quickly and that will have disastrous consequences.”
The leaders of all the local authorities affected by this decision, in Bromsgrove, Redditch and Stratford have also voiced their disappointment at the health authority’s decision.
“WAHT and commissioners in the south of Worcestershire have blocked efforts to talk to other providers about potential solutions,” said Mr Stote. “The aim of the review has been solely to preserve the future of WAHT at all costs, regardless of the consequences for patients.
“Well we’ve had enough Trust saving, it’s time to concentrate on saving services. It’s clear our local commissioners and the WAHT management cannot and will not do that so we need the public to back us now and send a clear message to Jeremy Hunt that he needs to take control and sort this shambles out.”
Currently the petition is available to sign online at https://goo.gl/SelbEY Paper copies will be available to sign during the vigil on Thursday.