HEALTH chiefs have strenuously rejected claims that Accident & Emergency at the Alex could be the next department to be closed on safety grounds.
It comes after top local doctor Jonathan Wells of Hillview Surgery, writing in his blog (http://bit.ly/2964rDh) highlighted staffing issues at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s emergency departments.
The Trust’s plan for future care of patients in Worcestershire has just been endorsed by regional bosses at the West Midlands Clinical Senate.
However they stipulate there must be a minimum of 20 A&E consultants between the two hospitals, ten at the Alex and ten at Worcestershire Royal.
Dr Wells points out that currently there are only four A&E consultants at the Alex and seven at the Royal.
Neal Stote, chairman of Save the Alex, said: “This is a legitimate question especially given the Trust inability to recruit and retain staff. You can see a couple of months down the line them using the same argument of patient safety to close A&E. Then we’ll be left with GP-led Minor Injuries Unit.”
However a Trust spokesperson firmly rejected the claims.
She said: “We are confident we will be able to run both an A&E at Worcester and in Redditch.
“We are absolutely committed to having two A&Es and if you look at the patient traffic to the Alex then you will see that makes a lot of sense.”
Acknowledging the difficulty recruiting consultants, she added: “We are looking to introduce advanced nurse practitioners and advanced doctors, this is a journey we have already embarked on and the West Midlands Clinical Senate is aware of it.