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Audience of Save the Alex meeting votes for Birmingham option
MORE than 200 people attended a lively public meeting about the future of hospital services in Worcestershire.
A show of hands indicated that most people in the audience of Monday night’s meeting in Redditch would rather use health services in Birmingham than travel to Worcester.
Health bosses outlined details of the two options that remain on the table for the cost-cutting re-jig of services aimed at slashing £50m from NHS spending.
These are for some services, including part of the accident and emergency provision, moving from Redditch Alexandra hospital to an enhanced Worcestershire Royal Hospital, or for the Alexandra to be taken over by a Birmingham-based hospital trust.
The meeting at the Palace Theatre in Redditch was organised by the Save the Alex campaign group.
It was attended by Dr Jonathan Wells, chairman of Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group - which is taking over responsibility for the hospital’s purse strings - who told the audience that the option of a new provider was being developed and would be put to the public in late May or early June.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex group, said: “We had a show of hands and of the 250 or so there only one person said they would rather go to Worcester.
“It has sent a very clear message. If people are having to travel then Birmingham is more accessible and we also believe that option will ensure a better range of service options remain available in Redditch.”
Concerns have been raised that handing over the Alexandra would leave the remaining hospitals unviable to stand alone financially.
Dr Wells has said this is not the case, and that both options are financially sustainable, while Mr Stote told your Worcester News: “There is no risk to the rest of the county. This is not just about the Alex, it is about health services for the whole county and we believe that by bringing in Birmingham it will strengthen things for everyone. It is win-win for the whole of Worcestershire.”