Save the Alex fight will continue.
It is a worrying thought that had Save The Alex, backed by public support not stood up the in the summer of 2012, the Joint Service Review’s plans to cut all maternity services and reduce the A&E department to a Minor Injury Unit would have been more or less in place by early 2015. Instead 2015 will see another 2000 babies born at the Alex and thousands using the A&E service at the Alex.
The current proposals could see 95% of A&E services retained, antenatal care remain and the creation of a Midwife Led Unit. The latest NICE guidance would suggest as many as 900 births of the current 2000 could still happen at the Alex.
Save the Alex understand the current proposals are being assessed by West Midlands Clinical Senate who are expected to report back in February. There is no doubt they have many questions to answer:
Transport and access: despite this being a key concern of the publics over the past 3 years the review still has no transport plan.
Financial Sustainability: the current proposals all hinge on Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust making a surplus in 2018. This is hard to believe possible given the trust’s track record! They will end this at least £15m in the red and Save The Alex believe they will actually end up in a far worse position because of winter pressures and cancelled planned operations.
Clinical Sustainability: it is unclear if the proposed model is actually deliverable by front line staff even in the short to medium term. Key concerns being numbers of A&E consultants required to deliver the model and allocation of trainee doctors to the Alex continuing following the proposed changes being implemented. These concerns were raised back in September 2014 by GPs from the 22 practices across Redditch and Bromsgrove – who make up the Clinical Commissioning Group advisory forum.
In 2015 Save the Alex will continue to hold the review to account and ensure it not only adheres to the minimum specification for the Alex laid out in January 2014 by Mr Nigel Beasley but also takes notice of the latest clinical guidance and NHS England’s 5 year plan.
On behalf of Save of the Alex, my thanks to the public who continue to support us and their hospital, the Alex.
Chair of Save The Alex