THE ALEXANDRA Hospital is the ‘sacrificial lamb’ say campaigners as concern grows over the number of accident and emergency patients it will actually be able to deal with under new plans put forward.
Campaigners say the Alex will become little more than an assessment unit for serious cases and would end up treating minor injuries only, contrary to health trust claims last week that 95 per cent of residents would still be be attending the same hospitals under a proposed new care model.
That was the claim at yesterday’s (Thursday) Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) meeting of local doctors who gave the model their blessing and passed it up to the West Midlands Clinical Senate for their approval.
Under the plans A&E at the Alex would care for adults only, in conjunction with a 24-hour assessment unit for children.
Simon Hairsnape, chief clinical officer, said the plan was also to create urgent care centres in Redditch for parents to take their children to in emergencies, thus avoiding any unnecessary stay in hospital.
However Neil Stote, chairman of Save The Alex, said the idea of the new centres was welcome but he feared the trust wouldn’t have the funds to run them, and families were still likely to go to the Alex.
“Parents are not going to know they should not take their children there,” he said.
“I think it is terrible that the doctors voted for it before putting the issue to the public.
“It is looking like The Alex will become more of an assessment unit where people come in and it is then ‘off you go again’. As for the centres, I am all for community help but where is the money coming from to develop these? The model is vitally flawed.”
However Dr Martin Lee said: “As a local resident and someone who has children and young grandchildren my main concern is that services remain safe and effective should they become unwell and that they will receive the best care in the right place. What we have now is not going to remain safe and sustainable.”
Another area of concern is transport, with scant provision being made for people without cars to get to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for appointments.
Mr Hairsnape said this was something they would have to address.