Health bosses 'should have been more open over Alex plans'

By Carl Jackson Monday 04 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 12:38

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HEALTH bosses admit they should have been more open with the public about talks which could see Birmingham Trusts run services at the Alex.

Eamonn Kelly, who is leading the Joint Services Review, said more transparency ‘would have been better’. He was speaking to the county council’s health overview and scrutiny committee last Thursday (January 24) following news commissioners were in discussions with University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Mr Kelly said the talks were ‘embryonic’ and the first priority of the JSR remained finding a clinically and financially sustainable solution for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

“But our other objective is get the right solution for the whole population of the county. We need to look at other options but the discussions are very embryonic,” he said.

“If in the event the option of working with other providers should develop, more detailed work would be required.”

Mr Kelly also confirmed WAHT were working on a model which would see full A&E centralised at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. The Alexandra would no longer be a consultant led unit but 80 per cent of its services would remain as well as 60 per cent of its urgent care.

“Its wrong to portray this as a closure of A&E at the Alex. There is clearly not enough space for all of those people to go elsewhere. It is about changing the service to make it sustainable.”

Details about the Birmingham model have still to be released but The Standard understands it would include some form of A&E, women’s and children’s care as well as investment into the site to provide a greater range of services.

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