THE leader of Redditch borough council’s Labour group has called on local MP Rachel Maclean to push for the Alexandra Hospital to join with a Birmingham health trust.
The call is from Councillor Bill Hartnett and comes after Mrs Maclean secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons this Wednesday, May 15, on services at the Alex and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Health Trust.
Only last week the trust revealed it is to implement a series of Enforcement Undertakings agreed with NHS Improvement over its failure to provide safe services.
Back in July 2017, health bosses rubber stamped plans to transfer emergency surgery, maternity and in-patient childrens services from the Alex to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital due to staff shortages and patient safety.
Two years later and Mrs Maclean believes this decision should be looked at again, especially in the light of some £20.5billion being put into the NHS by the government.
“I am not sure what she will be saying but I do hope she continues on her journey along the “road to Damascus” on this issue, a journey started last month – falling in line what I and many others in Redditch have been saying for years,” said Coun Hartnett.
“If were giving the speech I would be praising the staff who are working under very difficult circumstances with a chronic lack of investment and lack of funding.
“I would be referring to the borough council’s cross party Health Commission which I chaired.
“The recommendations of the commission – which were approved by the borough council – came out firmly against proposals to transfer services away from the Alex.
“The Health Commission pointed out the poor transport links to Worcester, the fear of losing services from the Alex, and questioned the viability of the trust.
“Since then the commission’s fears have been confirmed – we have not seen the promised £29million, we have not seen the investment in the Alex and the trust’s deficit continues to rise.
“What we have seen is the removal of services and the trust, rated as Inadequate by the Care Quality Commission, failing to hit its targets and get out of Special Measures.”
Coun Hartnett said he believed the trust in its present form was not viable particularly as it has a multi million pound deficit.
“It should be disbanded and Redditch should join a Birmingham trust with its transport links and range of full services,” said Coun Hartnett.