REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley has expressed her ‘heartfelt sadness’ at the recent death of eight-year-old Redditch boy Callum Cartlidge.
Callum, who lived just three minutes away from the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, was taken instead to Worcestershire Royal Hospital 19 miles away as paramedics, after allegedly asking to take him to the Alex, followed protocol and went to Worcester instead.
Callum died in the Accident & Emergency department in the Royal after a 23 minute drive under blue lights to the hospital.
Mrs Lumley, who has been prominent in her support of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s new management, has been widely criticised as key services like emergency care, paediatric in-patient care and maternity – among a raft of other changes – were moved out of Redditch to Worcester.
The health trust has said services were centralised due to staff shortages – currently standing at more than 200 registered nurses and 128 doctors – which they said compromised the safety of patients.
Speaking about what happened Mrs Lumley said: “We need to wait for the enquiry to conclude but, as a parent myself I can’t begin to think what Callum’s parents are going through – it is absolutely heartbreaking,” she said.
“This is not a political issue,” added Mrs Lumley, “but something which is very very sad.”
She said she had spoken to NHS England about the level of paediatric care and was to hold talks with Redditch & Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group to find out how the consultation into changes to health services had gone, amid public calls to have the whole process halted.
The consultation, which has been running for nearly three months, would cement in place the changes to services at the Alex.
A hospital investigation into Callum’s death has already been launched and an inquest has been set for June 28.