THE Alex doesn’t need saving, and it’s future is bright – that’s the verdict of the health trust’s new interim chief nursing officer Jan Stevens.
Speaking in the cafeteria at the Alex, Mrs Stevens, who has arrived on a six month contract was full of praise for the hospital, its staff, and the standard of care they deliver.
“This is a really good hospital and I want people to have confidence that they will be well cared for here,” she said.
“It’s important that they are proud of what we have and we should hold our heads up high – we will be going through a bit of turmoil but lots of what we do here will not change.”
Mrs Stevens has a reputation as a can-do operator, her claim to fame resting on changes she introduced to take on the hospital bug MRSA, a battle the NHS is now winning after she ignored the nay-sayers and stripped cleanliness back to basics, starting by the simple washing of hands.
Her permanent job remains in health education and she comes to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust from another one which was in special measures, Barts in London.
She arrives armed with plans that include tackling the Trust’s nurse retention and recruitment issues, increasing support and training for nursing staff, particularly matrons and sisters, and looking at different ways to deliver healthcare.
“Overall I’ve found the standard of care in the Trust is very good.
“We have happy staff, well cared for patients and good standards being maintained – all the data tells me that we are building on a good base,” said the Hither Green Lane resident.
However she tackles head on the issue of much of the care currently being carried out at the Alex being transferred to Worcestershire Royal.
“One of the challenges is that people keep saying Redditch is closing and all services moving to Worcester – this is simply not true and it’s having a detrimental effect.
“There is a good future for the Alex – some things may need to be different, and it’s not just about money, but particularly the staff challenges we have got.
“The wards are full of people with complex care needs and specialist care centres are the right thing for patients and the safest thing for patients, which is why we need the West Midlands Clinical Senate to tell us we are going about this the right way.”
On the Trust’s pledge that 95 per cent of local patients will still be seen at A&E at the Alex she added: “What normally comes here through A&E will still come here, however you would go to the centre of excellence for those things that will save your life.
“The Alex has a future – it does not need saving.
“So if I can offer some level of re-assurance – care is so different from what it was 20 years ago and we need to re-design it to meet patient needs.”