Rachel is continuing to hold the Acute Trust to account following changes to the delivery of trauma services at the Alexandra Hospital.
Earlier this month, Rachel wrote to the Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Matthew Hopkins, after it was revealed in the press that the Alex would no longer treat certain trauma patients.
In her letter, Rachel demanded clarity from the Acute Trust over what types of trauma injuries would now be treated at the Alex following the implementation of the changes.
And Rachel had another opportunity to hold the Acute Trust to account yesterday (November 24th) following a meeting with Worcestershire MPs, Health Minister Ed Argar, the Acute Trust, the local Clinical Commissioning Group, the Leader of Worcestershire County Council and a representative from the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
A number of issues were covered at the meeting, with Rachel using the opportunity to once again hold the Acute Trust to account over the changes to the delivery of trauma services at the Alex.
“Despite the letter I sent to the Trust two weeks ago, I still haven’t received answers to my questions, particularly around what trauma patients will now be treated at the Alex given the changes have now been implemented,” Rachel said.
“I put these questions to the Trust’s Chief Executive during our meeting. We need clarity, and I still didn’t get the answers we need, but I have been promised a response. I will of course share this information with you.
“To me it remains incomprehensible that this decision was made at this time, especially heading into the winter months when we know the NHS will be put under further pressure. It makes sense to everyone that the Alex should be better utilised.
“This change was poorly communicated, key stakeholders weren’t consulted, and I made it clear to the Trust that the anger in Redditch was palpable.
“I will continue to monitor the situation closely to see what impact these changes have on the already unacceptable ambulance delays we’re seeing at Worcestershire Royal.
At the meeting, Rachel also asked the Acute Trust when the business case for the multi-million pound investment at the Alex will be completed and submitted to the Government for approval.
“In 2019, I secured additional funding for the Alex,” Rachel added.
“It follows the £29.6 million the Acute Trust was awarded in 2017 when I was first elected. The Trust told me they needed this funding increased to £31.9 million – and I secured the extra funding they needed two years ago now.
“There can be no more dither and delay. The Trust need to get on and get the business case submitted for the multi-million pound investment in the Alex’s operating theatres.
“Spades in the ground and the new theatres being built will send a clear signal to my constituents that their hospital is not going anywhere.”