RESIDENTS in Studley and Alcester will not be formally consulted on the future of the Alexandra Hospital.
South Warwickshire CCG has decided the proposals for the Woodrow Drive hospital do not represent a material change and as a result will not be formally consulting with their patients but are instead will be a consultee.
The decision also means the idea of a joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee – involving councillors from Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham – is now unlikely to happen and commissioners drawing up the consultation plan have not scheduled any public meetings in either Studley or Alcester.
Studley district councillor Hazel Wright said: “This is absolutely appalling especially considering we make up ten per cent of the activity at the A&E department.”
Alcester district councillor Sue Adams is also set to challenge the CCG over the decision and won the backing of Alcester Town Councillor at a meeting on Tuesday (August 5).
Coun Lennox Cumberbatch, the town’s health champion, added: “A significant number of residents from Alcester, Studley and this area still use the Alex and there are contractual arrangements there and I think it’s particularly sad they haven’t even had the courtesy to ask the council its views on this issue.”
But a spokeswoman for the review said although no meetings had been scheduled in Alcester and Studley, a community bus would be visiting both areas to gather feedback.
She added residents could also attend the public event in Redditch and there would also be consultation events at the Alex itself. Letters will also be sent to organisations in the two areas to inform them of the review and representatives will be happy to attend meetings to talk to people. Postcards being delivered to households to inform them of the consultation will also be sent to residents in South Warwickshire.
“We recognise hospitals don’t necessarily have geographical borders and cross county boundaries. The
views of residents in Studley and Alcester will have the same weight as those in Worcestershire.”
Gillian Entwistle, chief officer for South Warwickshire CCG, said residents’ views were being represented by her presence on the review project board and an appointment to the Patient, Public and Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
“Through these mechanisms, we are seeking to ensure South Warwickshire residents will be adequately consulted and their views heard.”