Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch County, today (16 November) has expressed her frustration at how long the £29m healthcare investment promised by the Government in July is taking to reach the place where it is most needed.
The cash boost was confirmed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England boss Simon Stevens and will see the Worcestershire Royal Hospital getting upgraded maternity wards, theatres and children’s services, while the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch will get extra money to pay for improvements to the elective care centre, endoscopy, children’s outpatients and an upgrade in theatres.
Rachel made the hospital her number one priority when elected in June, which is why she was delighted when £29m was promised and pledged shortly after the election. She has since been working hard to push those responsible for delivering on these plans, so people in Redditch can see the benefits.
However, while the money has been approved, the current frustration is the time it is taking for the Trust to gain access to the money. Rachel has expressed her disappointment that, a project that will take some considerable time to plan, design and deliver, is still held up at the initial stage, meaning the Trust can’t appoint architects or start any work. She has held several meetings to try to speed things up.
This week (Monday) she continued her fight at a meeting with Dale Bywater, Head of NHS improvement, in Parliament. This body is tasked with making sure tax-payers’ money is spent responsibly and in line with long-term health plans for our area.
Rachel said: “While I agree that public money needs to be spent carefully, the people of Redditch have been promised these funds for our hospital for some time now. And a lot of work has gone into creating the business case to support the grant. We need to see action, and we need to see building work starting sooner rather than later, to make the much-needed improvements to our local health services.
“I will continue to push for this behind the scenes, so we get the first-class health services we deserve. I am frustrated this is taking so long, and it simply isn’t good enough. Whatever it takes to get this funding ready to go, I will do it.”