As you know, I’m fighting hard to return services to the Alex – that’s what you re-elected me to do – and I’m as determined and more committed than ever to achieving this for you.
I’ve always been honest with you that this won’t happen overnight and that we need to be clear in how we’re going to deliver this goal. This is why I’ve been working on a comprehensive & evidence based strategy to return a maternity & children’s service to our town’s hospital.
However, at our regular MPs briefing sessions last week, the Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Matthew Hopkins, made a very interesting comment. He said that following the Trust’s debt being written off, his Trust will be looking at whether or not their clinical services model is “still right” moving forward. A clinical services model is basically what, where and how will hospital services be run.
As you know, the Trust’s previous strategy was to remove services from the Alex. So the fact that Mr Hopkins has made these comments is, I believe, significant. It’s not my intention to give you false hope, but it’s always my intention to update you as much as possible on the work I’m doing on the Alex. I want everyone to feel part of this campaign.
If the Trust decides to make changes to its Clinical Services Strategy to 2025, which has already been agreed at board level, then it does have a duty to engage with the public, in some form, as set out in NHS England’s Patient and Public Participation Policy. If significant changes were made then it would require a formal public consultation.
Because of this I now have an urgent meeting with Mr Hopkins this coming Monday. I want more detail and I want to know what he actually means when he says is their strategy “still right.” If the Trust is going to make changes to their strategy, then I think it’s only right the public are consulted so you can have your say. And, if significant changes are made to clinical services and where and how they operate, then yes, we should also seize this opportunity to continue to fight for a maternity and children’s service to be returned to the Alex.
I will of course update you on the outcome of Monday’s meeting and the way forward. As ever, thank you for your continuing support.