Keen to build momentum behind her fight to get services back to the Alexandra Hospital following success in securing the Garden Suite’s return, Rachel raised her campaign with the Prime Minister.
In Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (February 1st), Redditch’s MP asked Rishi Sunak about the need for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to change its mind on not providing maternity and paediatric services at the Alex.
It follows news last week of Rachel’s successful campaign to return the Garden Suite to the Alex. The chemotherapy service will be back and open to patients by the end of this month.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Rachel said:
“After 8,000 residents of Redditch signed my petition to bring back chemotherapy to the Alex, the Trust reversed its decision to leave it at Kidderminster permanently - a fantastic win for our town. I am grateful to the local Acute Trust for listening so carefully and changing its mind.
“Does the Prime Minister agree that it is right that the Acute Trust can change its mind on provision of maternity and paediatric services, so that women can give birth in our wonderful town of Redditch?”
In response the Prime Minister said:
“My Honourable Friend has clearly been a fantastic advocate for the Alex and for her constituents.
“We have awarded £10.5 million to the local Trust, and I understand that some of that funding is being used to improve maternity and paediatric services at the nearby Worcestershire Royal.
“She will know that these operational decisions are being made by Integrated Care Boards, and I know that she will continue to make her views known.”
Rachel was re-elected in 2019 with an overwhelming mandate to fight to return a maternity and children’s service to the Alex.
Since then, and despite the impact of the pandemic, Redditch’s MP has published two detailed, comprehensive and dedicated reports into how she believes this can be achieved.
She continues to make the case to local health bosses and is working with local campaigners, Kirsty Southwell and Adele Jackson, to secure the return of these services to the Alex.
“The Prime Minister was right to highlight that it’s local health bosses who make the decisions about how services are delivered at the Alex.
“That’s exactly where I’ll continue to make the case for the return of a maternity and children’s service.
“My detailed, comprehensive and realistic reports clearly set out how I believe this can be achieved and how other areas of the country, with similar populations to Worcestershire, are, as we speak, operating more maternity and children’s service from two hospitals and in one case from three hospitals.
“Returning services to the Alex doesn’t mean deterring investment from Worcestershire Royal. Investment is welcome in both hospitals as they work side-by-side to provide first class healthcare.
“I won’t stop fighting until I have delivered on the promises I have made, but I hope the return of the Garden Suite has demonstrated that I am capable of getting services back to our hospital where they belong.”