By Harriet Ernstsons 17/08 Updated: 17/08 10:04
DOCTORS are remaining tight-lipped about their view on hospital proposals despite being sent letters by the Save the Alex group.
Campaigners sent letters to every GP surgery within ten miles of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, which could be closed or downgraded as part of plans by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, but received just one reply.
Neal Stote said it was ‘only right’ that doctors should confirm whether they backed the 48,000 plus people who had signed the petition against the closure of A&E and maternity services at the Alex.
“I understand we are not in formal consultation yet, but by the time we are it will be too late for our GPs to voice objection they hopefully have to the Alex potentially losing its A&E and maternity services.
“Our GPs must have some sort of view on this Joint Services Review, one letter in response to our letter is worrying.
“I wonder is there a conflict of interest now GPs are both commissioners and contractors waiting to be commissioned, does this mean they can not truly reflect what the patients feel about the current proposals?
“I ask everybody seeing their doctors in the coming weeks to ask them what they think about the proposed cuts at the Alex and what will be the effect of the further £150million that has to be also saved.”
In the letter, doctors were asked to confirm if they felt options mooted in the first phase of the review were safe and sustainable.
Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group which will take control of finances from April next year, said doctors encouraged residents to engage with the Joint Services Review.
“We fully appreciate the concerns of our local population and our priority is to ensure we provide high quality healthcare services which are sustainable for local people.
“We are currently in ‘listening mode’ and helping the public to understand the need for change, which exists nationally as well as locally.
“No decisions have been made and it would be confusing for individual practices to comment at this stage for that reason.
“As a membership organisation, the Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG will meet with the 22 member practices to come to an agreed position on the Joint Services Review and will share this with the public.”
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