Local doctors rubber stamp reconfiguration of health services in Worcestershire - The Evesham Observer

Local doctors rubber stamp reconfiguration of health services in Worcestershire

Evesham Editorial 12th Jul, 2017 Updated: 12th Jul, 2017   0

COUNTY doctors have rubber stamped plans that confirm the loss of emergency surgery, maternity and in-patient services for children at the Alexandra Hospital and their transfer to the Worcestershire Royal.

The decision was taken at a meeting of fellow GPs from clinical commissioning groups from across the county in Bromsgrove this morning.

Doctors said the move would make better use of scarce staff, particularly consultants, junior doctors and nurse practitioners, and provide better care for patients.

However the changes still need £29million of investment from the government to go through but are expected to save Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust £4.4million a year once implemented.

Transport to and from the Worcester remains a key issue, with health chiefs admitting they were looking to volunteers to help pick up the burden of taking patients without cars to the Royal site.

This was too much for county councillor Peter McDonald (Lab, Rubery North) who warned the consequences could be fatal.

Speaking after the meeting he said: “They have rubber stamped a change that they know will cost lives.

“It’s about saving money it’s not about the welfare of people – they no thee is no transport system to support this. They admitted they will be relying on volunteers.

“It’s simply a disgrace and it’s time for these professionals to stand up and say these cutbacks have gone far enough!”

However Dr Jonathan Leach of Redditch & Bromsgrove CCG said with a shortage of consultants, GPs and nurses it was all about getting patients to the best possible place for their care.

“There is a structural problem with the county. We have three hospitals serving a population of 580,000 – that is the legacy we are dealing with.

“If we were starting with a blank sheet of paper we would plonk a new hospital for the entire county by Junction 5 of the M5.

“As it is it is impossible to provide every service in every small hospital – you cannot staff it, you cannot afford it, and it’s not good for the patient.”

The Alexandra Hospital will retain emergency and urgent care services for over 16s.

It will have a promised GP-led Urgent Care Centre while part of the promised £29million investment will be spent on refurbishing its operating theatres for more planned surgery.


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