By Ian Dipple Friday 15 March 2013 Updated: 15/03 15:45
THE PUBLIC have overwhelmingly shown their support for a Birmingham Trust being allowed to take control of running the Alexandra Hospital.
A survey conducted of residents who attended the Save the Alex Public Meeting on Monday (March 11) revealed over 67 per cent felt University Hospitals Birmingham Trust was best placed to provide services at the Woodrow Drive site in the future. Just over 1.4 per cent backed Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to keep hold of the Alex with the remainder wanting more information about what Birmingham could provide before making a decision.
The survey, which was completed by 142 residents, also revealed over 80 per cent of people present felt it was wrong of the Joint Services Review to release information about Worcestershire's option before Birmingham Trusts had been given an opportunity to work up their offering to the same detail.
Last Saturday (March 9) campaigners were out in the town centre gathering feedback on public opinion and of over 400 people questioned almost 60 per cent said they would travel to Birmingham for treatment if services at the Alex were reduced or removed and that figure rises to 64 per cent in the online poll being carried out at www.savethealex.co.uk in which over 1,000 people have voted.
A show of hands at the end of Monday's meeting also saw a clear public show of support for the Birmingham option with just one person in the 250 strong audience voting to for the Alex to remain part of WAHT.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, said: "There was a very clear decision by the public if they had to travel for some of the specialist services they would rather go to Birmingham, firstly because they can get there and secondly because it's the sustainable option.
"Birmingham have the money to invest in the hospital and they want to grow the services there which is a far cry from what we have seen from the Worcestershire Trust for the last 12 years."
Other findings from Monday's survey showed 76 per cent of people understood why changes at the Alex had to take place after listening to the presentation by Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG which will help take the final decision later this year.
Almost 48 per cent said they were more optimistic about the future of the Alex than before the meeting. But many still want more clarification on the detail around both options and concerns remain about travelling times to Birmingham or Worcester in an emergency, the loss of full maternity services and the ability of the ambulance service to cope.
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