Hereford & Worcester

Cuts to Alexandra Hospital in Redditch 'will harm vulnerable'

Alexandra Hospital, Redditch
Image caption Two options are being reviewed as part of a £35m reorganisation of NHS services in Worcestershire

Cutting services from a Worcestershire hospital will put some of the most vulnerable people in the county at risk, a joint council report has said.

Accident and emergency and maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch could be moved to hospitals in Worcester or Birmingham.

It is part of plans by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to save £50m.

The 32-page report has been produced by Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove and Stratford-on-Avon district councils.

It stated: "The removal of services from Redditch will leave what is already a vulnerable society with the worst accessibility to health services in the region.

"[It] will introduce substantial inequalities with the populations of Redditch, Bromsgrove, Studley, Alcester and neighbouring areas being significantly worse off than all other areas in Worcestershire."

'Feasible option'

The report has been submitted to Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for its current review of the county's hospitals.

The CCG is looking at two options for services at the Alexandra Hospital as part of a £35m reorganisation of health services in Worcestershire.

For the first option, some services at Alexandra Hospital would move to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Alternatively, it would be taken over by a University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Birmingham's QE Hospital.

The council report said if downgrading services was unavoidable, then Birmingham was the more "feasible option" because of better transport links.

Leader of Redditch Borough Council, Bill Hartnett said: "The prevalence of stroke, asthma and high blood pressure in Redditch are higher than the national average with over 28% of adults obese.

"With a clear link between physical and mental health problems and deprivation, the removal of key health services from the Alexandra Hospital to an inaccessible central base would put some of our most vulnerable residents at risk."

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust were unavailable for comment.

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