Rachel has called on Trust bosses to ensure any patient consultation on the Garden Suite’s permanent location must be fair and transparent.

Last Friday (December 3rd), Rachel once again met with the Chief Executive and Chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust where she had the opportunity to ask about the Garden Suite.

Trust bosses told Rachel that no final decision has been made regarding the Garden Suite’s future permanent location, and that the earliest any options will be presented to the Trust’s Board will be March 2022.

Rachel has been fighting to ensure the temporary relocation of the Garden Suite from the Alexandra Hospital to Kidderminster remains temporary.

The chemotherapy suite was relocated during the pandemic, but earlier this year, the Trust said that they could look to make the relocation to Kidderminster permanent.

In response, Rachel launched a petition calling for the Garden Suite’s return to the Alex. The petition has now been signed more than 7,500 times.

As part of the process to provide the Board with options on the Garden Suite’s future permanent location, the Trust have promised to commit to a full engagement exercise with patients.

At the meeting, Rachel made it clear to the Trust that any patient survey must ask Redditch patients about travelling to Kidderminster for treatment, as well as asking them if they would like to receive their treatment at the Alex.

Rachel said:

“Although it’s frustrating we now have to wait until March for Trust bosses to make a final decision about the permanent location of the Garden Suite, if it means patients, and staff, will properly be consulted, then this will hopefully ensure this process is a fair one.

“Any patient survey must not ask leading questions which may give the Trust the answers they want.

“It must be a fair and transparent process which asks Redditch patients whether they’re happy having to travel to Kidderminster for their treatment.

“The Trust must share a copy of the patient survey with me in order to ensure full transparency.

“From the many emails I’ve received on this issue, not a single chemotherapy patient I’ve heard from is happy that they can’t receive their treatment at the Alex.

“When surveying patients, the Trust must give them the opportunity to express this. Any survey which doesn’t do this would, in my opinion, be flawed and wouldn’t accurately reflect the views of patients.

Rachel is also urging her constituents to continue signing her petition.

“A final decision on the Garden Suite’s future permanent location still hasn’t been made, so your voices still count,” Rachel said.

“Thank you to the thousands of you who have signed my petition so far. If you haven’t done so already, please do sign it and urge your friends, family and neighbours to as well.”

To sign Rachel’s petition please visit: https://www.change.org/bringbackthegardensuite