Hospital chief executive denied plans to downgrade Alex

By Ian Dipple Monday 04 February 2013 Updated: 05/02 11:19

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THE HEAD of the Trust which runs the Alex has insisted there are no plans to transfer the hospital to another organisation.

Penny Venables, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, also denied they had ever issued proposals to severely downgrade the Woodrow Drive site or centralise services into Worcester.

Responding to news commissioners were in talks with Birmingham Trusts to run services at the Alex, Mrs Venables said: "The Alexandra is an integral part of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and there are no plans for it to be transferred to another organisation.

"As one of the partners in the Joint Services Review, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to providing safe, sustainable clinical services for patients across the county."

At a Trust board meeting in Redditch she added if another provider was brought in there would be 'issues' around competition law and clarification would be needed from the Government.

Redditch MP Karen Lumley urged commissioners to ensure all viable options were put to the public.

"As far as I'm concerned the Alexandra Hospital belongs to the NHS and that's a discussion I'm having with the Health Minister and I'm awaiting a decision as to what happens to the hospital which I am hoping is imminent," she said.

"The public have a right to know the full range of options available, whether this future belongs with University Hospitals Birmingham or the Worcestershire Trust."

Last June the Joint Services Review - of which WAHT is a part - released six models for the provision of future healthcare in the county, which could have reduced the Alex to just an outpatients and diagnostics centre, while another would have seen it closed completely.

In the face of huge opposition from the public, politicians and clinicians it was announced last October the JSR had switched its focus to providing as many services as possible on all three of the county's hospital sites.

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