September 29th, 2016

MP hopefulls give their Alex verdicts

MP hopefulls give their Alex verdicts MP hopefulls give their Alex verdicts
Updated: 10:14 am, May 07, 2015

THE future of the Alexandra Hospital has been the hot local topic this election.

We asked all six candidates if they thought the Alex had been saved – these are their answers:

Seth Colton, (Independent)

Has the Alex been saved?

The true answer is no. The decision has already been made and there is a reason why it has not been said before the election, and I think the Alex as we know it will go.

I do not know what the answer is going to be from the review, but who knows what’s going to be left at the hospital and sadly on Karen Lumley’s watch the hospital is going to lose its key services.

The people of Redditch will wake up a few days after the election and discover that the hospital that they know no longer exists.

My message is that we need someone who is going to fight day and night to get those services restored and to get people to take responsibility and to make sure our children have in the future a hospital which can take care of them.

Kevin White (Green Party)

Has the Alex been saved?

It’s fantastic news about the consultants being appointed but it’s too early to say if the Alex has been saved.

I’ve noticed that the Trust believes it is critical that the Alex maintains its status as an education centre for training doctors because in the long term we need to be training more doctors.

However, with the review of services which is being carried out by the West Midlands Clinical Senate delayed until after the election, and with it then going out for another round of public consultation, I believe that for everyone in Redditch that we have a fully functioning hospital with a 24=-hour A&E and paediatric and maternity services.

To me it does not matter if the service in Redditch is run by Birmingham or Worcester as long as we maintain these vital services here in Redditch.

So, it’s too early to say to say if the Alex has been saved – it may not be on a life support machine but its condition is still critical.

Peter Jewell (Ukip)

Has the Alex been saved?

No, it still needs saving. They’ve appointed these new consultants in accident and emergency but I do not know their background or their level of experience.

You can rest assured that if I was elected I would fight for the Alex every step of the way and bring every legal means possible to do it.

Both the Tories and Labour are messing with the Alex by making promises that they will not be able to deliver as their paymasters do not know where to get the money from or how to do it.

But something has to be done quickly – moral is low among the nursing staff and many have half an eye open for other jobs.

They must also keep a consultant-led maternity service and retain their overnight care for children at the Alex. Not everyone has their own transport and even for an ambulance getting to Worcester or Birmingham for that matter, at the wrong time of day, well it could be too late.

Rebecca Blake (Labour Party)

Has the Alex been saved?

Not yet . I think we are in a worse position than we were three years ago when the review was launched as we’ve had five A&E consultants, four from the Alex, who have resigned.

They now have a deficit of over £20 million and the A&E department at Redditch is facing unprecedented demands. We need major investment in nurses and GPs to meet the shortages of these key staff and to relieve the burden on health services.

Five more years of a government washing its hands of what’s going on in Redditch is not what we need.

I have questioned whether the Trust is in special measures which is normally the cases when an improvement director is brought in, and I find this very worrying.

The positive side of this is that they are talking about bringing new services to Redditch, but they do not seem to be listening to the wishes of the people on their doorstep and that is that they want time critical services to remain at the Alex.

Hilary Myers (Liberal Democrats)

Has the Alex been saved?

It is obvious that services at the Alexandra Hospital are still under threat, so I would urge all residents of Redditch and the surrounding areas to support Saturday’s rally organised by the ‘Save the Alex’ campaign.

Proposals already circulated envisage a centralisation of Accident & Emergency at Worcester and a downgrading of maternity services so that more complicated cases would be sent to Worcester Royal.

As has been stated many times, the inadequacy of public transport links between Redditch and Worcester means that, under such a proposal, lives would be put at risk.

Recent publicity around Worcester Royal suggests that the hospital is already having difficulty coping with demand without adding pressure by sending Redditch patients there. This must not be allowed to happen.

If elected, I would act to protect our local hospital services. I also support a fully independent inquiry into recent allegations of bullying and intimidation at the Alexandra

Hospital.

The Liberal Democrats wholeheartedly support the National Health Service. We are the only major political party committed to spending the extra £8billion, which NHS England say is needed over the next five years, that has a fully- costed plan to pay for this.

Karen Lumley (Conservative Party)

Has the Alex been saved?

Yes it has – it’s how we see the Alex in the future that we need to talk about.

Three years ago one of the options on the table was the closure of the Alex, but it is still there, three consultants for A&E have been appointed and a fourth is on his way.

As we have seen from Worcestershire NHS Hospitals Trust recently, it cannot cope without the Alex.

The fact is all this has gone on for far too long – it’s taken three years and it’s not over yet but I’m hoping that soon after the election we will get the verdict from the West Midlands Clinical Senate and we can move on.

I use the hospital myself and this has got to be sorted out for the staff who do a fantastic job and for them it’s crucial that there is a future.

The question is what are we going to have at the hospital – we already have the A&E and there is urology and orthopaedic surgery on its way.

The important thing to remember is that we own the Alex – it’s been bought and paid for by the taxpayer – it’s our hospital.

When the CQC visited the A&E department they found everything was all right, it wasn’t our hospital they found fault with.

The Alex is a good hospital with a great future ahead of it.

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