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7th Jul, 2022

Mum’s campaign calls for return of maternity services at the Alex

Ross Crawford 17th Jun, 2022 Updated: 18th Jun, 2022

A REDDITCH mum has launched a petition calling for the return of maternity and children’s services to the Alexandra Hospital.

Kirsty Southwell’s action follows news of plans to build seven new operating theatres on the Alex site – replacing the existing ones.

The sale of surplus land could also see the development of an Aldi supermarket on the site.

Church Hill mum-of-one Kirsty said the more pressing need was the return of maternity and paediatrics to the Alex.

“Back in 2017 my baby was stillborn.

“I’d gone to see the midwife in Redditch and she said to me, ‘I’m sorry but I can’t hear a heartbeat’.

“I then had to go to Worcester to have him delivered. Imagine travelling all the way to Worcester on a bus knowing you had a dead baby inside you.

“It is just not right.”

She added the health authority’s priority should be the health of the people living here.

“Besides, the last thing we need is yet another supermarket – think of all the traffic problems and the parking issues it will cause.”

Kirsty, now the proud mum of a three year old boy, acknowledged there was a national shortage of midwives and doctors, but said this had been known for years and yet the Government had done nothing about it.

“They need to put money in to training people, not just sit there and expecting them to pay their own way when they have a job to do and the pay isn’t brilliant when they qualify. Why aren’t they doing anything?”

Kirsty’s ‘Bring Back Children’s and Maternity Services At The Alexandra Hospital’ petition already has more than 1,000 signatures and she urging more people to lend their support.

“I know this has been done before but we really need our hospital fully functioning with the children’s and maternity services as it is vital as the population of Redditch is growing, especially with all the new houses being built.”

Visit: change.org/p/bring-back-children-s-and-maternity-services-at-the-alexandra-hospital to sign the petition.

Paul Brennan, deputy chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospital Services NHS Trust, said: “The changes to maternity and paediatric services were the subject of extensive public consultation and were followed by an inclusive public service review which endorsed the service changes as presenting the best way to deliver sustainable and high quality services for patients.”

Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, said: “I hear Kirsty, I fully support what she is doing, and I’ve assured her I am continuing to do everything within my power as her MP to return a maternity and children’s service to the Alex.

“I’ve never promised it would be easy to return services. We’re dealing with an Acute Trust which remains wedded to the centralisation of these services at Worcestershire Royal.

“However, I refuse to lose hope. I’ve never given up on anything in my life and I’m not about to start now.

“The Trust needs to listen to the evidence of the demand for these services from Kirsty and the people of Redditch.

“If local health bosses look around the country they will see there are Acute Trust’s which provide maternity and children’s services at more than one hospital, including down the road in Gloucestershire. If it’s possible in Gloucestershire, then I’m certain it’s possible here in Worcestershire.

She added she had a long track record of campaigning on behalf of her constituents which had yielded results.

“After a campaign I led which was supported by more than 8,000 residents, the Trust agreed to return the Garden Suite to the Alex.

“With the NHS receiving records amount of funding and with more doctors and nurses working for our Trust than when I was first elected, this will certainly boost our campaign to return services to the Alex.”

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