Rachel has hailed victory in her campaign to secure the return of the Garden Suite to the Alexandra Hospital.
The chemotherapy unit had been under threat of not being returned to the Alex, with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust actively considering the option of permanently relocating the Garden Suite to Kidderminster Hospital.
However, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have today (February 4th) confirmed to Rachel that the service will be returning to the Alex.
The chemotherapy unit’s return has been clearly set out in the Trust’s Board Papers ahead of February’s Board meeting next week.
The papers confirm the only option being considered by Trust is returning the Garden Suite to the Alex. It follows the strong opposition, led by Rachel, to the option being considered by the Trust not to return the unit to Redditch.
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.”
Since then, Rachel has met with the Acute Trust countless times to make the case for the service’s return to the Alex and launched a petition, signed by more than 8,500 residents online alone, which backed Rachel’s calls for the Garden Suite to be returned to Redditch.
Rachel also worked with Healthwatch Worcestershire to ensure the voices of patients and residents were heard.
“From the moment we were told the Acute Trust was considering not returning the Garden Suite to the Alex I knew this was wrong and I vowed to fight this decision,” Rachel said.
“I welcome the confirmation from the Trust that the temporary relocation remains temporary and that the Garden Suite will be returned to our town’s hospital. It’s coming home!
“This is the right decision for patients. I’m pleased Trust bosses have listened to the views of patients and residents who were opposed to the Garden Suite permanently remaining in Kidderminster. Your voices have been heard loud and clear.
“I will now work with the Trust as they set out the timeframe for the Garden Suite’s return to the Alex. Work on this has already begun. As soon as possible is my position. As ever, I will continue to keep my constituents updated on this.
“I’ve always said the Alex is my top priority and I will never stop fighting for our town’s hospital. The Alex has a bright future ahead of it.”
The Trust’s decision means that ambulatory chemotherapy services will once again be provided at all three of the Trust’s hospitals as was the case before the pandemic.