SHAMBOLIC – that was the verdict of Save the Alex campaigners after health chiefs and politicians this week fell over themselves in their desperation to trumpet the findings of a report which has not been published yet.
The eagerly awaited report, by the West Midlands Clinical Senate (WMCS), is into the future of health care in Redditch and Bromsgrove and across the county.
On Tuesday Chris Tidman, interim chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) announced to board members that the Senate had backed his crucial vision of health provision in the county.
Then on Thursday Bromsgrove MP and Business Secretary Sajid Javid met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt ‘to secure a clear timetable to get the Alexandra Hospital back on track’ after ‘the West Midlands Clinical Senate endorses county-wide service reconfiguration plans’.
In fact the WMCS has neither published nor released its findings into the Future of Acute Hospitals in Worcestershire Programme.
“This has been a shambolic episode and a good indication of the type of people running our health services in Redditch and Bromsgrove,” said Neal Stote, chairman of Save the Alex.
“They have made comments on a report which hasn’t been published and has undergone no public scrutiny.”
He also questioned whether the WMCS could in good faith back the plan.
“There are still a lot of questions over the care of children.” he said.
“They still haven’t solved the capacity problem at Worcester and there is no indication of how they will cope once child cases start to be admitted.
“They have also done nothing about transport, despite having four years to work something out. How on earth are people without cars meant to get to Worcestershire Royal?”
The proposed plans envisage the Alex still seeing 95 per cent of its adult A&E patients but with inpatient care for children, maternity cases and adult emergency surgery moving to Worcester.
David Hegarty, chair of WMCS said: “We recognise that the report is eagerly awaited and will be publishing it in the next few days.”
Commenting on his meeting with Jeremy Hunt, Mr Javid said: “Now that the West Midlands Clinical Senate has approved a county plan, it’s important that there is proper consultation followed by swift implementation. This is crucial for patients and for staff.”