Rachel Maclean, newly-elected MP for Redditch County, kept to her election promise to get to work holding health authorities to account on Friday, when she met with Dr Richard Davies, Chair & Clinical Lead of the Redditch & Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and other managers, and Michelle McKay, CEO at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, in separate meetings.
It was Rachel’s first meeting with both and she was keen to find out first-hand about the recent consultation into local health services and what actions the Acute Trust had put in place following the latest CQC report which confirmed it as being ‘inadequate’ and remaining in ‘special measures’ until further review.
Rachel said: “After my meeting last week with Health Minister Philip Dunne confirmed that the £29million promised to the Alex and Worcestershire Royal before the election will be forthcoming once the local consultation and business plan has been agreed by the CCG, hopefully in the summer, I wanted to hear for myself what the plans involved.
“As part of my meeting with the CCG, I heard about improved outcomes of maternity services, with Caesarean sections falling from 32 per cent to less than 25 per cent since maternity was moved to Worcester.”
She added that it was encouraging to hear about Michelle McKay’s culture for change agenda at the hospital, invoking strong leadership with greater transparency from the top down.
“We were able to discuss the CQC report and what changes are being put in place as a result. She also told me about forward plans to meet winter pressures. Michelle is under no illusion that there is some hard work ahead, but is also confident the Trust is now on the right track to success.
“She also told me about the Trust’s more open approach in terms of collaborations with neighbouring Trusts, which in my view is a good thing. She also told me that a recruitment video had just been commissioned and that there were plans for an Acute Frailty unit at the Alex,” added Rachel.
“One of the Trust’s main strategies is to address one of the most difficult problems, which was recruitment, and early signs are positive, although the Trust must not take their eye off the ball here.”
Rachel’s 12-point election plan included a pledge to hold Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to account. She now intends to hold regular meetings with Michelle McKay.