Hereford & Worcester

Paramedics told not to take children to Redditch A&E

Alexandra Hospital, Redditch Image copyright Google
Image caption Children's services have been moved from Alexandra Hospital in Redditch

An ambulance service has been told not to take children to a hospital's A&E department - prompting one paramedic to speak out about his fears.

Children's inpatient services at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital have been moved to Worcestershire Royal Hospital amid a shortage of junior doctors.

Paramedic Stuart Gardner said he "can't believe" the A&E decision.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals trust said quality of care mattered rather than where people got it.

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West Midlands Ambulance Service said the trust asked it not to take any patients under 16 to the Redditch hospital.

It said it would take all such patients to the nearest alternative A&E with the necessary paediatric services.

Mr Gardner said paramedics were taking children to Worcester or Birmingham.

He said: "Our concern if we're in trouble with a child - a cardiac arrest or a child's got a bad asthmatic attack or having a fit - is if we can actually just go to the hospital department to get the child stabilised before we move to the other hospital.

"We've been told we're not allowed to do that."

Image caption Stuart Gardner said paramedics "have to take [children] to Worcester or we go to Birmingham"

The trust's interim chief medical officer Dr Andrew Short said: "Nobody can guarantee that nobody will die.

"What I can guarantee is that we're putting in services that will provide the best quality care for children.

"We know that ambulances are staffed with paramedics who are all trained to provide advanced resuscitation skills."

Asked why enough staff had not been found to keep children's services at Redditch open, he said there was "a national problem".

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