A TOP level meeting with Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt over the future of services at the Alexandra Hospital this afternoon (Wednesday, November 18) has been described as ‘positive’ by the civic leaders of Redditch, Bromsgrove and the portfolio holder for health at Stratford district council.
Local MPs Karen Lumley, Sajit Javid and Nadhim Zahawi together with Council leaders Bill Hartnett (Redditch), Margaret Sherrey (Bromsgrove) and Coun Mike Gittus(Stratford) held the talks with Mr Hunt due to the continuing crisis at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT).
The trust has a projected deficit of £58 million, has missed its four hour Accident and Emergency treatment target for 12 consecutive months, has seen a string of resignations from top doctors and boardroom members and which has recently moved all emergency gynaecology and maternity cases from the Alex to Worcester, 18 miles away.
The trust has also tried – and failed – to come up with an effective health care programme to care for the needs of the 200,000 people who rely on good services at the Alex for their health care.
“The meeting was positive and I think the Secretary of State understood that we have been more than reasonable in the five years that this has been going on for. We’ve got cross party and cross party support and I think he got the message,” said Coun Hartnett.
“I gave him a copy of the editorial from the Redditch Standard of November 6, which he read, (in which we attacked the trust for announcing bad news after 5pm on a Friday three times in a row) a photograph of gagged nurses from Save the Alex, the anger that we all feel, and also the statistics which show the lack of car ownership and access in Redditch.
“We said enough is enough, and that’s across all of us.”
Mr Hunt will now wait on the report into the trust by the Care Quality Commission, expected in two weeks time while the six representatives are now hopeful of a further meeting with the Trust Development Authority.