As a local resident who, like you, relies on NHS services, I understand how important the Alexandra Hospital and the services it provides are. I have campaigned tirelessly to ensure high quality services are delivered in the town and the relevant investments are made in order that this can happen.

This is why I launched a petition to push forward the implementation of the GP-led Urgent Care Centre that was promised to us in Redditch as part of the consultation into Acute services in Worcestershire which concluded last year.

When overnight paediatric care was centralised at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) promised to bring forward plans for a GP-led urgent care centre here in Redditch. This was understood to be an essential part of the proposed model for Acute services. And yet despite repeated requests for clarity on this point, along with meetings with local health chiefs, we still do not have a timetable for its delivery. The urgent care service for under 16-year-old very sick children at the Alex would give parents much-needed peace of mind that their loved ones would be assessed, in a place familiar to them, especially for those who have difficulty travelling to Worcester.

However, to date, we have seen no action on this and I fully understand why residents feel let down when a service loss has not been accompanied by the promised delivery of replacement services. That’s why I launched a campaign to bring forward, without further delay, plans for the promised implementation of the urgent care centre in Redditch, and why I asked for your help in supporting me in this bid by signing a Parliamentary Petition.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who have signed my petition, your support is very much appreciated. The deadline to return signed copies of my petition has now passed and I will submit the petition to the House of Commons within the next few weeks.

Your support clearly demonstrates that residents want this service operating at the Alex as soon as possible. Health bosses promised our town this new service and they should not get on with delivering on their promise.

I will of course keep you all updated on when I submit the petition to the House of Commons, as well key updates on the progress of the Urgent Care Centre.