The Alex

I am committed to end uncertainty, provide clear information about this topic, and hold Acute Trust leaders to account.
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“I recognise that the people of Redditch and the surrounding areas have deep concerns about their healthcare services, and they care passionately about the delivery of these services. This section of my website will be a reference point for all of my activities and information regarding this issue.”

Did you know...

There are now 142 more hospital doctors and 233 more nurses at the Acute Trust than in 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions about The Alex and Healthcare Services

What has Rachel done to support the Alex?

Since she was elected as Redditch’s MP in June 2017, Rachel’s number one priority continues to be supporting the Alex and making sure residents get the first-class services they deserve.

Within one month of being elected, Rachel met with the then Health Minister, Philip Dunne, the Chair & Clinical Lead of the Redditch & Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, the Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Michelle McKay, and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt.

In her maiden speech, Rachel hammered home her commitment to support the Alex. Rachel also used her first opportunity to ask a question in the House of Commons to press the Health & Social Care Secretary on staff recruitment at the Alex.

Rachel has also continuously lobbied the Government on the £29million capital investment promised to the Acute Trust. This significant amount of money 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.

In October 2019, it was announced that Rachel had successfully secured the additional funding hospital bosses needed to submit a business case for improvement works at the Alexandra Hospital.

Following meetings with the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust last month, it emerged that, as a result of increased costs from contractors, the £29.6million awarded to the Trust in 2017 would no longer cover the cost of planned improvement works at the Alex.

After discovering this funding would no longer cover the costs of works at the Alex due to inflationary pressures, Rachel lobbied the Health & Social Secretary, Matt Hancock, to increase the capital funding the Trust needs from £29.6 million to £31.9 million.

In October 2019, it was confirmed Rachel secured the additional funding the Trust needed after the Secretary of State agreed that his Department will provide additional capital funding to ensure the Trust can deliver the improvements at the Alex to benefit local patients. The Trust will repay this capital funding to the Department in the coming years.

Following the temporary relocation of the Garden Suite Chemotherapy Unit from the Alex to Kidderminster during the pandemic, Rachel has been fighting hard to secure this service’s return.

Rachel has regularly met with the Acute Trust to make the case for the Garden Suite to be returned to the Alex. To help in this effort, Rachel also launched a petition which has now been signed by more than 8,600 of her constituents.

Following an 11 month long campaign led by Rachel, on Friday, February 4th, the Acute Trust confirmed the only option they are considering is returning the Garden Suite to the Alex.

On Thursday, February 10th, a brand new £1 million breast imaging unit opened to patients at the Alex. The purpose-built extension includes two dedicated rooms for breast mammography and ultrasound scans. This new facility will enable more screenings to take place so patients awaiting diagnostic tests can be seen quicker.

In March 2022, the Trust confirmed robotic surgery will finally be performed at the Alex. Ever since she was first elected, Rachel has been making the case for robotic surgery at the Alex after the Rory the Robot Appeal raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to purchase the surgical robot. The Trust is aiming to begin providing robot assisted surgery at the Alex later this year.

In June 2022, the Acute Trust confirmed that, with Rachel’s support, it is developing a business case totalling £33 million for a brand new operating theatre complex at the Alex.

The purpose-built extension to the town’s hospital will see seven new operating theatres built. This new theatre complex will join the hospital’s seven existing operating theatres which will be retained for two years after the completion of the new build.

Will the Acute Trust see the promised investment?

Yes. The money is for the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust (WAHT) from NHS England. £3million to fund work to improve patient flow at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital has already been approved by the Department of Health and Social Care. The first tranche of funding from the £31.9 million will allow the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to construct a link bridge between the main Worcestershire Royal building and the second floor of the Aconbury East building.

In June 2022, the Trust announced it is going further and being more ambitious than the plans set out in the 2017 Acute Services Review.

Instead of just refurbishing the current theatres at the Alex as was originally planned when Rachel was first elected, the Trust are instead going to build a £33 million operating theatre complex at the hospital. It will be a purpose-built extension to the Alex and will house seven new operating theatres. This new theatre complex will join the hospital’s seven existing operating theatres which will be retained for two years after the completion of the new build.

Is the hospital in terminal decline? Is it going to close down?

No, absolutely not. The Alex plays an integral role in the delivery of healthcare in Worcestershire.

Of course, some services have been moved to the Worcestershire Royal, but the Acute Trust is clearly committed to the future of the Alex as demonstrated by the multi-million pound investment planned for our hospital. Rachel is doing everything she can to get the Acute Trust to deliver the investment we have been promised. This multi-million investment is a clear sign that the Alex has a bright future ahead of it.

 The Alex is set for a multi-million pound investment. A £33 million operating threatre complex is going to be built at the hospital. It will be a purpose-built extension and will house seven new operating theatres.

A brand new breast imaging unit has opened at the Alex, Rachel has secured the return of the Garden Suite and robotic surgery will be performed at the hospital by the end of the 2022.

The Alex’s A&E is not going anywhere either. Paul Brennan, the Deputy Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Let me make it clear there is absolutely no debate about the Emergency Department at the Alexandra Hospital. That will remain.

“It is a key feature for the local community and a key asset for the Trust and we will be looking at ways of developing that.”

Is the Alex's A&E closing?

No, absolutely not. 

The Alex’s A&E is not going anywhere either. Paul Brennan, the Deputy Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Let me make it clear there is absolutely no debate about the Emergency Department at the Alexandra Hospital. That will remain.

“It is a key feature for the local community and a key asset for the Trust and we will be looking at ways of developing that.”

Is the Trust now out of Special Measures?

Yes. After five long years, the announcement last September that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is finally out of special measures is a huge milestone.

Rachel wasn’t Redditch’s MP when the Trust was placed into special measures all those years ago, but since she was first elected in 2017, she’s asked difficult questions and had tough conversations with the Trust along this journey. Rachel only ever did so because she want what’s best for her constituents – first class health services.

There’s no doubt it will be reassuring to residents that the Alex is on a firmer footing. Rachel has always said the Alex has a bright future ahead of it, and the decision to take the Trust out of special measures reinforces this vision. We can now look ahead to a brighter future for hospital services in Redditch.

What has Rachel done in her campaign to return services to the Alex?

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Rachel’s campaign to return services to the Alex has continued.

Last year, Rachel launched her Alex Working Group which is made up of Rachel as the MP for Redditch, the Chief Executive and Chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as other key local stakeholders.

This group will be used as a forum to discuss all matters relating to the Alexandra Hospital, and to intensify discussions over my campaign to return a maternity service and paediatric service to the Alex.

If we’re to return services to the Alex, then Rachel must engage with health bosses in a positive and constructive way – and this working group is a clear sign of this new approach, but this doesn’t mean she won’t continue to hold the Trust & health bosses to account.

Rachel has always said the Alex has a bright future ahead of it, and this new working group reaffirms the commitment she made to her constituents that the Alex has been and always will be her top priority.

The ultimate goal is to return services to the Alex.

But Rachel also wants to develop a positive vision for the future of the Alex. Redditch’s hospital is an essential part of Worcestershire’s health economy and it has a bright future ahead of it.

Following the temporary relocation of the Garden Suite Chemotherapy Unit from the Alex to Kidderminster during the pandemic, Rachel fought hard to secure this service’s return.

Rachel regularly met with the Acute Trust to make the case for the Garden Suite to be returned to the Alex. To help in this effort, Rachel launched a petition which has now been signed by more than 8,600 of her constituents.

Following an 11 month long campaign led by Rachel, on Friday, February 4th, the Acute Trust confirmed the only option they are considering is returning the Garden Suite to the Alex.

Alternatives to A&E

Please remember that A&E is for serious and life-threatening conditions only. Below is a full list of health care options available across Worcestershire, which could offer more appropriate and quicker treatment:

Self-care

Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

Your local community Pharmacy

Your local pharmacist can give expert, confidential advice or medicines for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, tummy troubles and much more.

NHS 111

Call NHS 111 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for fast, free medical advice when it’s not an emergency. This can include arranging an out-of-hours GP appointment.

GP services

GPs can help you with many health problems and complaints and can provide a wide range of family health services. Contact your GP for an appointment before attending A&E.  If you are not registered with a GP visit www.nhs.uk to find a surgery in your area.

Minor Injury Units

Minor Injury Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor conditions including cuts, grazes, sprains and burns. Waiting times here are around 20 minutes on average.

There are five MIUs across Worcestershire:

  • Bromsgrove – Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Stourbridge Road, Bromsgrove, B61 0BB
  • Evesham – Evesham Community Hospital, Waterside, Evesham, WR11 1JT
  • Kidderminster – Kidderminster Hospital, Bewdley Road, Kidderminster, DY11 6RJ
  • Malvern – Malvern Community Hospital, 185 Worcester Road, WR14 1EX
  • Tenbury – Tenbury Community Hospital, Worcester Road, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8AP