COUNCIL leader Roger Hollingworth has described an independent panel's recommendations, in a review on the future of Worcestershire's hospitals, as a 'major victory'.

The long-awaited specialist review on the future of Worcestershire's hospitals, including Alexandra Hospital - the general hospital serving Bromsgrove - was announced today, (January 21).

The clinical review panel recommended that the Alex's A&E department shouldn't be closed, something that has been of grave concern to campaigners.

But the review says consultant led maternity services and paediatric inpatients should be centralised at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

A joint statement from Bromsgrove District Council leader Roger Hollingworth, Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, Bill Hartnett, Redditch Borough Council leader, Karen Lumley, Redditch MP, and Neal Stote, chairman of the Save The Alex campaign, said they were "delighted" that the report states that A&E needs to remain open at the Redditch hospital.

But the statement stressed the campaign would continue to put pressure on, to ensure that the minimum clinical specification recommended by the panel is delivered in practice.

Councillor Hollingworth said “The report is a major victory for the people of Bromsgrove, Stratford and Redditch and justifies the two years of effort that we have put in to stop the closure of the Alex.

"We want to be assured by NHS England that this is a stake in the ground and that these are the services that must be provided as a minimum by whoever can deliver them safely and sustainably.

"This is almost what we have been fighting for but not quite. It is almost there, though, and it gives us a good base from which to continue the fight and look for a supplier who can deliver what the people want - but we need to be assured that this is the minimum.”

Mr Javid said: “I welcome the news that 24/7 emergency services will remain at the Alex. 
"This is good news for people in Bromsgrove and Redditch.  I will be studying this report carefully and continue to seek the best outcome for my constituents.”

Mr Stote added: “Today’s reports shows Save The Alex were right in its high profile campaign.

"We will study the report in detail and continue to fight for the best possible range of services at the Alex.”