REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley has joined forces with Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid, to secure support for local health services from the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt.
The MPs, who have consistently lobbied the Health Secretary about protecting services at the Alexandra Hospital, have welcomed news that Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust will soon be receiving tailored support from the Emergency Care Improvement Programme (ECIP) to improve patient care.
In an email received by MPs, the NHS Trust Development Authority have confirmed that: “ECIP will be clinically led and will offer practical support to improve patient flow through the urgent and emergency care system and will ensure patients quickly and safely return to their permanent place of residence, with any necessary support they require”.
It continued: “The ECIP programme is being facilitated by Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority, NHS England and the Department of Health. This partnership will ensure that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is supported by coherent efforts across the local system and can focus on securing the necessary improvements in service quality, safety and patient flow”.
The announcement comes after the Trust found it increasingly difficult to meet its emergency care four hour waiting time standard.
The results of a Care Quality Commission full inspection of services provided by Worcestershire Acute Trust are expected imminently.
The announcement is also set against the context of ongoing consideration of proposals for the restructuring of the Trust – which would see obstetrics, gynaecology and emergency surgery services consolidated at Worcester Royal Hospital. Both Mr Javid and Mrs Lumley want this to be reconsidered to include the option of University Hospitals Birmingham running retained services at the Alex.
In a joint statement, the two MPs said: “Having consistently voiced our concerns about the increasing pressure on local health services we are pleased that the Secretary of State for Health has made this significant intervention.
“Redditch and Bromsgrove patients need reliable and timely access to healthcare, which this programme will help secure.
“We are now anticipating the results of the independent Care Quality Commission inspection of Worcestershire Acute Trust, which will form the basis of any further representations we make on behalf of our constituents.
“We will always stand up for the safety and quality of care at our local health service”.