Shadow Health Secretary pays Redditch a visit

First published in News

LABOUR'S Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham recently visited Redditch and heard from concerned local residents, NHS staff and members of the Save the Alex campaign, over proposals calling for maternity to be cut at the Alex Hospital.

The MP, along with Rebecca Blake, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Redditch, spoke to local parents about how the move - which could see the consultant-led maternity unit at the Alex removed - would affect them.

He said: "I've heard from local mums that one of the problems for people in Redditch having to travel to Worcester Royal instead of the Alex is geography. I've just come from Worcester and experienced the road works and delays for myself and I understand public transport between Redditch and Worcester is infrequent and takes too long.

"As Health Secretary I would want to know the implications for neighbouring hospitals if births were cut from the Alex. Hospitals shouldn't be dealt with in isolation because changes to one have knock effects on neighbouring hospitals.

"The people of Redditch and its neighbours deserve a detailed review of services across the wider health economy and to be properly consulted before any decisions are made."

Ms Blake has written to NHS England requesting a review of maternity capacity.

She said: "If births are cut from the Alex women will go out of county to have their babies. I have requested NHS England initiate a review of maternity capacity that extends Worcestershire Acute Trust and takes in all hospitals that would be effected by cutting births at the Alex.

"I want to see in black and white just how 2,100 births a year will be safely accommodated when neighbouring hospitals are already short on maternity beds."

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