By Ian Dipple Thursday 12 September 2013 Updated: 13/09 13:29
A DECISION regarding the future of the Alexandra Hospital is not expected until next year it has been confirmed.
An independent panel of experts from outside the county is set to scrutinise Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust's review of the two options for the Woodrow Drive site - remaining under the control of the Trust or being transferred to another provider, likely to be University Hospitals Birmingham - to see if they are clinically and financially viable.
The panel has been given 12 weeks to complete their work meaning their findings will not be discussed by health chiefs until November at the earliest and any public announcement is unlikely until at least January.
Even then a final decision will still be months away as it will have to go through formal consultation and the process may also have to be paused again until after next year's council and European elections.
In the meantime Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group is set to release its prospectus for public comment in the coming days which will set out which services doctors want to see provided at the Alex and will be compared against the two options.
Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, said once the independent appraisal had been done they could analyse the findings and move on to the next stage.
"It has taken a long time but these are important changes and it's important we get them right and what we are doing is correct legally, especially within the new legal framework," he told a meeting of Worcestershire's Health and Wellbeing board on Tuesday (September 10).
But the news was met with concerns from members of the board about the fact the public had not been formally spoken to for over a year.
Coun Ron Davis, representing Wychavon on the board, said: "I am being asked every other month what is happening to the hospitals and to say the options are up in the air is not good enough at this moment."
Peter Pinfield, chairman of Healthwatch, called for members of the Trust to be brought before the board as he felt there was mixed messages in the local press from different health organisations indicating vested interests.
"It does not feel like we are all in this together," he said.
"We are entitled to a clear message, we may not like those messages, but we need to be more open and honest with the public we can't have another four or five months of nothing going through."
But Dr Wells added: "It's a long, difficult, frustrating process but we are all working on it as best we can."
A MURDER suspect has admitted escaping from a
IT MAY only be September, but one Bromsgrove
THERE are plenty of activities taking place across
BROMSGROVE MP Sajid Javid has joined forces with
SHOPPERS were passing go on Thursday (December 5) as the ...
AN ALCESTER care home hosted the party of the century ...
AS WE get ready to launch the Worcester Observer next ...