REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean has reiterated her desire to see maternity and childrens services return to the Alexandra Hospital.
Praising the response of staff at the hospital and the NHS in general as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic, she said she was still working on a strategy to return the much missed services to Redditch.
Maternity services were withdrawn by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in 2015, initially on a temporary basis, due to fears there weren’t enough midwives to safely staff facilities at both Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alex.
By 2016 health chiefs were warning the service wouldn’t return to the town ‘any time soon’ due to a lack of staff.
Current estimates indicate that the UK still has a shortage of some 2,500 midwives nationwide.
Childrens services – paediatrics – were also withdrawn on the grounds of safety in 2015, however A&E at the Alex continues to treat children taken there.
Despite the lack of midwives and paediatricians coming through, Mrs Maclean said she was working on a ‘comprehensive and evidence based strategy’ setting out how she intends to return a maternity and children’s service to the Alex.
“The ultimate goal is of course returning services to the Alex,” she said.
“I believe returning services is possible. If the Trust’s debt totalling £321million can be wiped it shows anything is possible.
“I would not campaign and make this promise to my constituents if I believed otherwise.”