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26th Oct, 2021

Rachel Maclean: Garden Suite must be returned to the Alex

The Rachel Maclean Column:

THIS week my Alex Working Group reconvened, and I met with bosses from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to discuss the Garden Suite.

Since the moment we learnt the Garden Suite Chemotherapy Unit had been temporarily re-located to Kidderminster, I’ve been clear in my desire to see this vital service returned to Redditch’s hospital.

Before the pandemic struck, there was already a chemotherapy suite at Kidderminster. This now means there are currently two chemotherapy units operating from Kidderminster.

If the Alex was to permanently lose the Garden Suite, then it would be the only one of the Acute Trust’s hospitals not to provide chemotherapy. This is a situation that I will not accept.

I have been working with Mark Garnier, the MP for Kidderminster, and we’re both making the case for chemotherapy to be provided at all three of the Acute Trust’s hospitals.

The Trust’s chief executive, Matthew Hopkins, told me this week that this option remains on the table.

The Trust cannot use Covid as a cover to change the way they provide chemotherapy in Worcestershire.

During my meeting, I also made it clear to Mr Hopkins that patients must be properly consulted.

Their views must be at the heart of the decision-making process.

This should begin immediately, especially if bosses intend to make a decision about the future permanent location of the Garden Suite around October and November.

Be in no doubt I am doing everything I can as your Member of Parliament to ensure the temporary re-location of the Garden Suite remains temporary.

All three of the Acute Trust’s hospitals must provide chemotherapy, as they did before the pandemic, which means the Garden Suite should be returned to the Alex.

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