THE FUTURE of services at the Alexandra Hospital now rests with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after a top level delegation from the area visited him in Parliament on Wednesday (November 18).
During the interview local MPs Sajid Javid, Karen Lumley and Nadhim Zahawi together with council leaders Margaret Sherrey (Bromsgrove, Bill Hartnett (Redditch) and Coun Mike Gittus (Stratford) described the loss of services at the Alex, including emergency gynaecology cover, the recent loss of maternity, the resignations of key staff and the loss of moral among staff.
The hospital is part of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which is running at loss expected to hit £58million this financial year and which has repeatedly failed to come up with a workable plan to properly cater for the health care needs of the people of north Worcestershire.
Campaigners now fear the Alex could soon be in line to lose both its A&E cover and paediatric services.
The trust is now awaiting the publication of a Care Quality Commission report following an inspection in July, which is expected in two weeks.
Mr Hunt said: “The local leaders have made clear to me how important it is that we secure a lasting and expedient resolution.
“The upcoming publication of the Independent CQC Inspection report into Worcestershire services will serve as an important benchmark in moving forwards.
“Following this, I will be calling on NHS Improvement to present their plan for the future directly to me and to local MPs.”
In a joint statement responding to Mr Hunt’s comments, the local leaders said: “We welcome the Health Secretary’s personal assurance and action plan to take control of this situation and the future of our hospital.
“We now anticipate the release of the crucial CQC report and our next meeting with the Health Secretary and NHS Improvement in January.
“Let’s get this situation sorted once and for all.
“It’s time to get a grip to protect our local health service.”
However Neal Stote, chairman of Save the Alex said: “At the moment it is all meaningless – we need to see the model of care to be introduced, otherwise it was just another meeting and after five years fumbling around we are no further in finding a solution.”