THE space previously occupied by the Garden Suite chemo unit at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital is now being used to help restore hospital services affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has refurbished part of Kidderminster Hospital to temporarily house the chemo unit which was moved from Redditch after the coronavirus outbreak last year.

The trust said Kidderminster's A block was an ideal location to carry out cancer treatments while the Alex continues to treat people with Covid-19.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: The Garden Suite chemo unit moved from the Alex to Kidderminster in the wake of the Covid outbreak last yearThe Garden Suite chemo unit moved from the Alex to Kidderminster in the wake of the Covid outbreak last year

While hospital bosses assure the move is only temporary, some patients in Redditch are concerned the unit won't come back.

David Melley, 81, who lives in Astwood Bank, said: "What worries me about this move is that we've seen it with Redditch services in the past - once they're moved they don't come back.

"This is what happened with the maternity unit - it was meant to be temporary and then it never came back.

"Moving this to Kidderminster will make it very inconvenient for me.

"I've got a wife who is bedbound so to get public transport from Redditch to Kidderminster and back again will take too long. It will be impossible."

The former Garden Suite unit at the Alex is now being used to increase the amount of day case surgeries in Worcestershire, as part of the trust's efforts to restore services which were reduced as a result of the Covid outbreak.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, our staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure that all patients who need urgent care – not just those with coronavirus – have received it.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Inside the new Garden Suite chemotherapy unit at Kidderminster HospitalInside the new Garden Suite chemotherapy unit at Kidderminster Hospital

“To achieve this, during the first phase of the pandemic we temporarily moved the Garden Suite chemotherapy unit from the Alexandra hospital, Redditch, where we are treating patients with coronavirus, to the lower risk Kidderminster Hospital site to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection to our clinically vulnerable, often immune-suppressed, patients.

“We have recently refurbished part of the Kidderminster site - A block - to enable the Garden Suite to move to a new, more suitable – but still temporary – location.

"A Block, which is a separate building to the main Kidderminster Hospital site, was identified as an ideal location to ensure our cancer patients receive the care they need in the safest possible environment.

“Further, the move allows us to use the space that it was occupying to increase the amount of day case surgery we are undertaking as part of our restoration of full hospital services following the initial stages of the pandemic.”