Writing in this week’s Redditch Advertiser, Rachel talked about her commitment to secure more funding for the Alex and the unacceptable long ambulance waits.

Securing the NHS and the Alex for the future is and will continue to be my top priority. Our hospital has a bright future with investment going in, new services opening and I’ll be making the case for the Alex to get its fair share of the £20.5billion for the NHS.

One of the first things I did when I was elected as your MP was to look ahead to the Winter Plan for our local Acute services. I requested and was given a number of meetings so I could scrutinise what the Trust were doing to keep my constituents safe. Last year, as a result of the Winter Plan, and additional funding by the Government, the plan did deliver some improvements on the previous woefully inadequate performance. It wasn’t enough, by a long way, which is why I stepped up pressure on the Trust ahead of this Winter.

It comes as no surprise that our local hospitals have seen a huge increase in demand this Winter. But steps have been taken through the county-wide Winter Plan to help ease pressures by increasing the number of beds. Across the Worcestershire Royal and the Alex, 106 additional beds have been created – a move that will assist the Trust in their aim to maintain patient safety across the urgent care pathway.

We mustn’t forget as well that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust treated 11,678 more people in less than 4 hours in November 2018 compared to 7,775 in November 2010.

However, an increasingly concerning situation, which is putting my constituents at risk, is the unacceptable ambulance delays at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, but also at the Alex.

I’ve spoken about this before and I’m doing what I can in my capacity as your MP to put pressure on hospital bosses to put in place measures to improve this situation.

From what I’ve been told during my meetings with health bosses it’s clear there is an issue with triaging which is leading to this situation. I’ve held numerous conversations with Trust bosses and I simply cannot understand why the Trust don’t adopt some of the measures of good practice used by other, equally busy Trusts.

By no means am I criticising our hard-working doctors, nurses and hospital staff. It is the Trust which is letting down my constituents and they must do better. I have once again written to the Trust’s CEO about the long ambulance waits and I have requested an urgent meeting with Health Minister, Stephen Hammond, so my constituents’ concerns are heard.