Rachel has delivered on her promise to secure the Garden Suite’s return to the Alexandra Hospital before 2024.
The service's return to the Alex was never guaranteed as Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust considered plans to keep the chemotherapy service in Kidderminster permanently. Health bosses engaged with staff and patients about not returning the service to the Alex.
However, on February 4th 2022, Rachel secured the commitment from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to return the ambulatory chemotherapy service to the Alex.
The saga began when the Trust temporarily relocated the chemotherapy unit to Kidderminster Hospital during the pandemic in order to keep chemotherapy patients safe.
Then, back in March 2021, the Acute Trust publicly said they were considering making the move permanent.
Rachel immediately convened a meeting of the Alex Working Group to tell Trust bosses this was unacceptable and that “temporary must mean temporary.”
She met with the Trust countless times to make the case for the service’s return to the Alex and launched a petition, signed by more than 8,600 residents online alone, which backed Rachel’s calls for the Garden Suite to be returned to Redditch.
After securing the commitment from local health bosses following numerous meetings, they then told the town’s MP the Garden Suite wouldn’t be back at the Alex until ‘early 2024.’
Rachel then promised her constituents that she would do everything within her power to get this service back to Redditch’s hospital before 2024.
On Tuesday, January 24th 2023, after a hard fought campaign led by Rachel, local health bosses confirmed to Rachel that the Garden Suite would be back at the Alex and open to patients by the end of February 2023.
On February 28th 2023, the Garden Suite reopened at the Alex following the refurbishment of Ward 1. Cancer patients are once again receiving their chemotherapy treatment at Redditch's hospital.
“I’m thrilled to see the Garden Suite back at the Alexandra Hospital where it belongs.
“I’m thinking of cancer patients in Redditch who can now receive their chemotherapy treatment at their local hospital.
“Thank you to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust for getting the Garden Suite back open at the Alex by the end of February as promised.
“Now I've demonstrated I'm capable of getting services back to the Alex, the fight continues to get a maternity and children's service returned to our hospital.”