Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting BA NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
No reason to rush to a decision over Alex plans says Redditch MP
12:50pm Tuesday 13th May 2014 in News
REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley recently met with Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter to discuss the future of hospital services, including maternity, at the Alexandra Hospital.
The Minister agreed with Mrs Lumley that all parties have got to ensure that the decision made is the right one and that enough time is taken to consider all possible options and their possible outcomes.
It comes after the Advertiser recently reported that a lot of work remains to be done on the ambitious project to re-shape hospital services in Worcestershire.
Speaking at a meeting of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT), chief executive Penny Venables said the organisation was working closely with other health organisations in the county to continue to develop the scheme.
In January a long-awaited independent report into the future of acute hospital services in the county was presented, recommending the seriously ill or unwell patients should be taken to Worcester.
Although when the review was announced some expressed concerns the A&E department at the Alex could be closed to cut costs, this idea was thrown out over concerns people living in the north of the county would be left with a lower standard of service to those in the south.
The review panel also recommended consultant-led maternity services and paediatric services should be centralised in Worcester and that public transport links between the hospitals should be reviewed.
Mrs Lumley said: "The uncertainty surrounding services at the Alex has been going on for a long time but this is no reason to rush to a decision.
"We must work to secure a future that is right for staff and local people.
"We have come a long way and secured a far better deal than many predicted but there is still a long way to go.
"In relation to maternity, women must have choice and certainty in the services they are offered."
The MP added: "My meeting with the minister was very productive. I was pleased that once again I got the assurances that my constituents want.
"I hope that stakeholders continue to put aside party politics and work for the best possible outcome for local people.”
Chairman of the Save The Alex Campaign Neal Stote said he was awaiting to hear exactly what assurances Mrs Lumley has received from the minister.
He added that there are two main major concerns that need looking at in more detail - the first being birth capacity.
"I don't believe Birmingham women's hospital has any space for births leaving women in the Redditch, Bromsgrove and the surrounding area with no choice other than Worcester - if this is the case it is not expectable and goes against the recommendations laid out earlier this year," he said.
"I also believe WAHT finances are in a worse state than ever and substantial funding is required to not only keep the trust afloat but also to implement any change that might happen."
It is not yet known how much the project will cost or save, but this is expected to be revealed soon and a public consultation will be launched later this year.
For more information on the project, visit worcsfuturehospitals.co.uk.