DOCTORS fear patients will be put at risk if the current proposals for the future of the Alexandra Hospital are given the green light.
The revelation, in a letter from GPs from the 22 practices across Redditch and Bromsgrove who make up the Clinical Commissioning Group advisory forum, was released just hours before the CCG’s annual general meeting on Tuesday (September 9) at Redditch Town Hall where Save The Alex campaigners staged a protest before the business got under way.
In the letter, to the doctors’ governing body, the GPs expressed their concerns over the clinical and financial safety of the plans.
Currently only one option is on the table which would see the Alex remain within the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) but campaigners and politicians have been calling on decision makers to fully consider the second option, which would see the hospital handed to an alternative provider likely to be University Hospitals Birmingham.
In the letter the doctors said: “We work closely with our hospital colleagues, and we know that there are issues that have been raised around clinical safety, staffing and training recognition which remain unaddressed, and which are a major risk for the clinical sustainability of the model. We believe that the model should not progress further until it is supported by the doctors and nurses at the Alexandra hospital.
“Dr David Hughes former chair of R&B CCG wrote on our behalf previously. In this letter he expressed our concern that alternative options involving alternative providers were not being explored . We were promised that all options would be fully worked up and addressed. We understood that this had been carried out as part of the ICRP process, however it now transpires that this is not the case; other providers were not approached or provided with activity data to allow them to work up an alternative model.
“As local GPs we need to be confident that the services to which we refer our patients and the secondary care that they receive in both elective and emergency situations is of the highest possible standard, is accessible, and is clinically and financially sustainable. We do not believe that Modified Option 1 in its current form achieves these aims, and do not therefore support taking it to public consultation at this time. We also insist that work is carried out without delay to fully work up all possible options, including a full and proper work-up of Option 2.”
Save The Alex chair Neal Stote said it was reassuring for campaigners to see it was not just the public voicing their concerns, but the professionals too.
And, stating it clearly showed that Option 1 was not financially viable or sustainable, he reiterated the view that Option 2 needed to be fully worked up.
“There are a lot of issues which need addressing.
“It was the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust who worked up Option 2 before it went to the independent panel and no one else has seen it.
“The only group which should be working up Option 2 if it is University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) is University Hospitals Birmingham – no one else can do it.”