September 25th, 2016

Women facing 18 mile trek as health trust moves emergency cover to Worcester

HEALTH chiefs have extended a decision to move all emergency care for gynaecology patients from the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch to Worcestershire Royal Hospital from nine days to six months.

In what is becoming a now familiar sleight of hand, the move was announced as the weekend commenced and means that women suffering from these conditions will have to travel 18 miles to Worcester for health care. Many observers in Redditch will fear this decision has an air of permanency about it.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust first announced the move last Friday afternoon (August 7) citing fears for patient safety due to a lack of doctors.

They said the move would be temporary until Monday (August 16) but that the situation would be monitored.

However in its latest announcement the trust said: “The changes were made when it became clear that the body responsible for training doctors – Health Education West Midlands would be unable to place a number of junior doctors at the Alexandra Hospital at the beginning of August. 

“The inability to fill these posts meant that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust could no longer run separate gynaecology and obstetrics rotas at both the Worcestershire Royal and Alexandra Hospitals. 

“It was decided that a key priority was to make every effort to maintain a full obstetric services on both sites and that to do this, emergency gynaecology services would be centralised at Worcestershire Royal. 

“Health Education West Midlands will not review the position until  February 2016 therefore the temporary emergency changes are likely to remain in place for at least six months.”

Moving emergency care for all patients had been part of the health trust’s latest plan, a plan rejected by the West Midlands Clinical Senate, and which the trust is currently revising over the summer.

Once approved that plan will then go out for public consultation.

Earlier this year protesters against cuts at the Alexandra Hospital, led by the Save the Alex Campaign, marched through the streets of Redditch to vent their anger over the planned cuts in services at the Alex which many will see as already happening.