Hereford & Worcester

Pledge to keep emergency care at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital in Trust takeover

Alexandra Hospital, Redditch
Image caption The trust running the Alexandra Hospital needs to save £50m by 2015

A health trust in Birmingham has said it will keep emergency care services at Redditch's main hospital if a takeover is successful.

Two options have been drawn up for the future of the Alexandra Hospital.

In the first, some services would move to Worcester. In the other the hospital would be taken over by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust.

The trust said that a fully functioning district general hospital in Redditch was "essential for this region."

The two options have been put forward as part of £35m reorganisation plans of NHS services in Worcestershire.

The plans will be the subject of a public consultation later in the year.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), said it planned to increase services at the Alexandra Hospital as part of a takeover.

A key element of this would be a 24/7, consultant-led emergency care centre which would treat patients with illnesses and injuries that do not require the specialist care of an A&E department.

'Demand is there'

The trust said the more serious cases would be taken to Accident and Emergency at the QEH.

Trust manager Dame Julie Moore said: "We want to see a fully functioning district general hospital in Redditch - it is essential for this region.

"Although A&E departments are changing across the country, we would run a 24-hour service which is consultant led. We believe that the demand is there."

She said that would ensure people were treated closer to home, avoiding unnecessary journeys to the QEH, and the "extra pressures this would place on an already-stretched service."

Neal Stote from Save the Alex campaign said he "didn't care who ran the services" as long as they were maintained.

The commissioning of services at the Alexandra Hospital was taken over by the NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in April.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said it needed to save £50m by 2015.

It said it was reviewing services to see if it could stay financially viable if it lost control of the Alexandra hospital.

A trust spokesperson said that they would await the outcome of the review before commenting.

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