WITH THE upcoming temporary closure of the children’s ward at the Alexandra Hospital, Dr Richard Davies, interim chair and clinical lead of NHS Bromsgrove and Redditch CCG, writes in The Standard to explain what services are available to parents, how they can access them and what they should do when they are unsure.
Ideally the inpatient paediatric service would remain at the Alexandra Hospital until the outcome of the future of acute hospital services review, but due to a lack of specialist doctors, the hospital trust announced they need to carry out an emergency move of the service.
This means that Ward 1 will be closed for new admissions from Monday, September 5, with all existing inpatients having been transferred by September 7 after which the children’s ward at the Alexandra Hospital will be closed for admission and children’s doctors and nurses will move to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
So, what does this mean for the children of Bromsgrove?
For the majority of children who attend the Alexandra Hospital they will continue to be seen and treated there.
The A&E department will continue to see children and the outpatient clinics will continue as well. The main impact this will have is for those children requiring an overnight stay in hospital.
These will now go to Worcestershire Royal instead of the Alexandra.
I would like to re-assure parents though that there are many different ways to access healthcare for their children when they are ill or injured.
If it’s during a weekday, 8am to 6.30 pm, the child’s usual GP surgery will be available for advice or an appointment.
If it is outside of these hours there is a GP available through the Out of Hours NHS 111 service.
Dial the 111 phone number and if needed parents will be given an appointment to go and see the on-call GP or a GP will call them back to speak to them.
If the child has a mild illness or has injured themselves in some way and needs emergency treatment, parents can still take their child to the Alexandra A&E to be treated.
If it is a minor injury, children can be taken to the minor injuries unit at the Princess of Wales Community Hospital in Bromsgrove.
For the most severely ill children the best number to call is still 999.
A paramedic will attend and assess your child and take them to the most appropriate hospital.
We have increased the number of ambulances we have available to us so there will be enough to help with the changes.
If you feel you need on the spot advice as to what to do you can get this from dialling 111 – this is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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