“We need to show health bosses that Redditch wants the Garden Suite back.” – Rachel Maclean MP
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ‘temporarily’ moved the Garden Suite Chemotherapy Unit from the Alex to Kidderminster Hospital during the pandemic in order to keep chemo patients safe.
Trust bosses have now publicly said that, in the summer, they may look at making this move permanent. This is not acceptable. Temporary must mean temporary. When it is safe to do so, I believe the Garden Suite should be returned to the Alex.
I know how important it is to local residents that this service is brought back to the Alex.
The Garden Suite’s home was at the Alex before this pandemic and, together, lets fight to make sure its brought home.
I’m doing everything I can to return the Garden Suite by talking to health bosses through my Alex Working Group and by involving government ministers.
But now Redditch needs to make its voice heard. Please sign this petition to tell Trust bosses that you want the Garden Suite returned to the Alex. Together, let’s show them Redditch doesn’t support the service permanently remaining at Kidderminster Hospital.
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What have you done so far to ensure the Garden Suite returns?
As soon as local health bosses publicly said, without warning, that, in the summer, they may decide to keep the Garden Suite permanently at Kidderminster, I convened an urgent meeting of my Alex Working Group.
I made it clear to local health bosses, who run the Alex, that it was unacceptable the Garden Suite may not return. I told them temporary must mean temporary.
I have written to the Chief Executive of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Simon Trickett, who is responsible for commissoning chemotherapy services in Worcestershire.
In my letter to Mr Trickett, I outlined my concerns about the distance my constituents will have to travel for chemotherapy treatment if the Garden Suite remains in Kidderminster.
To leave no stone unturned, I am also involving government ministers to ensure I’m doing everything I can as your local MP to return the Garden Suite.
And, to demonstrate public support for the return of this service to the Alex, I have launched an online petition. You can sign the petition by visiting http://chng.it/DydmgBhG. Redditch must make its voice heard to show local health bosses that this service must be brought back to our town’s hospital. I would encourage you to share the petition with your friends and family.
Why was the Garden Suite temporarily removed to begin with?
During the pandemic, the Government made available billions of pounds in extra money for the NHS in order to make temporary changes to protect services and patients.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital, used this money to temporarily re-locate the Garden Suite from the Alex to Kidderminster Hospital in order to protect immunosuppressed chemotherapy patients.
Local health bosses initially told us this move was temporary.
However, in March 2021, local health bosses said publicly, and without warning, that, in the summer, they could decide to make this move permanent.
I believe this is wrong and unacceptable and will fight local health bosses on this all the way.
What about maternity and children's services?
The fight to return maternity and children’s services to the Alexandra Hospital is an ongoing battle with the Acute Trust.
I was re-elected in 2019 with an overwhelming mandate to campaign to return these services to our town’s MP – and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing ever since.
I have already set-up the Alex Working Group which is made up of me 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 I 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 I won’t continue to hold the Trust & health bosses to account.