REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean has slammed county health chief Matthew Hopkins for failing to put forward a business case to expand the emergency departments at the Alexandra Hospital and Worcestershire Royal.
In a letter to the chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) she says Mr Hopkins’s recent comments that Accident and Emergency services at the Royal were ‘rapidly reaching the limit’ effectively makes the case for more services, including the ability to treat children in an emergency, to be returned to the Alex.
She says: “I am making the case that an expanded A&E at the Alex should once again have the ability to treat children in emergency situations.
“This is undoubtedly needed, and you have publicly admitted that the A&E at Worcestershire Royal cannot cope with the demand.
“The obvious response is enabling the Alex’s A&E to treat children in emergency situations.”
And she hit out at Mr Hopkins for sending a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock requesting funds to expand the departments instead of submitting a proper business case.
“You know as well as I do that a letter to the Health Secretary is not a business case.”
However Save the Alex campaigner and Labour candidate for Winyates Ward Sharon Harvey accused Mrs Maclean of doing a U-turn and ‘changing the narrative’ .
“I know Rachel Maclean wasn’t there four years ago when all this was planned but she was there in 2017 and the narrative then was that everything was going to be fine and we need to respect the (Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire) consultation.
“We were told we would be world class and it would solve all the staffing problems.
“However it was clear from the outset that Worcestershire Royal Hospital did not have the capacity.
“Redditch people are sick of being treated as second class citizens by our local NHS.
“Consultation was a sham and our opinions were ignored in the quest to fulfil the requirements of the Conservative Sustainability and Transformation Plans. These plans were merely a vehicle for government cuts to our NHS services.”
A spokesperson for WAHT said: “We welcome Rachel Maclean’s continuing support to secure extra resources for our hospitals.
“Our strategy sets out a clear vision for the future.
“That includes an adult Emergency Department (ED) for the Alexandra and an ‘all age’ ED and inpatient services for young people at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.”