There is currently a dedicated children’s outpatient department and a Minor Injuries Unit co-located within the A&E at the Alex. However, emergency care for children is provided at Worcestershire Royal Hospital following the centralisation of services.
Rachel is now calling on Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Alex, to be ambitious in their requests for funding from the Government for big capital projects in order to vastly improve the service patients are currently receiving.
It comes as the Government is set to enshrine in law its commitment to increasing NHS spending by £33.9 billion by 2023-24. This is the first time a government has a made a multi-year spending commitment legally binding.
Just last month Rachel, along with other Worcestershire MPs, met with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss latest developments at the Trust, as well as to make the case for more investment in capacity at the county’s hospitals.
Rachel said: “As we all know, currently children in need of emergency care can’t receive treatment at the Alex. Instead they’re stabilised and sent to Worcester. Not only does this make a difficult situation even more distressing for parents, but it also increases pressure on the A&E at Worcester which is already struggling.
“It’s very clear for all to see, and to anyone who has used the A&E at the Alex and at Worcester, that they both need expanding. The A&E’s currently can’t cope with the demand they’re facing and this problem will not be resolved until health bosses are ambitious and submit bids to the Government to expand their emergency departments.
“But if we’re going to spend millions of pounds on expanding the A&E at the Alex, then the first question I know my constituents will ask me is ‘if you’re going to expand the A&E, then why can’t it treat children like it used too.’ And I agree.
Rachel has already had meetings with local health bosses and the Health Secretary about the need for ambitious capital projects. At their most recent meeting it was revealed the Trust will be submitting a capital bid to Government for £20 million for the Alex in order to expand the A&E.
This would be on top of the £31 million Acute Services Review capital funding which Rachel helped secure previously to address capacity issues and to refurbish the operating theatres at the Alex – with work set to begin this year.
“Following the numerous meetings I and my fellow Worcestershire MPs have had with local health bosses, I know they are now acutely aware of the need to be ambitious in their asks from the Government.
“We all want to see an end to the issues besieging the Trust and increasing capacity is a key solution to the problem local health services are facing.
“I will continue to lobby for these improvements to happen, as well as fighting for services to be returned to the Alex.”