September 2016 saw the closure of the children’s ward at the Alexandra Hospital which means that children now have to travel over 30 minutes to receive emergency life saving treatment at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Campaigners and medical staff have warned since the closure that the decision is not safe and that it would increase deaths with one former consultant of the Alexandra Hospital confirming that “centralising to Worcestershire DID put lives at risk”.
Interim medical officer – Dr Andrew Short (soon to be replaced by Dr Suneil Kapadia who is currently medical director at United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust) comments on the sad news of the tragic loss of a young boy last week apologetically but is still in denial and refuses to accept that centralising acute life saving services IS NOT SAFE!
In reality if the Alexandra Hospital had not had its children’s ward taken away six months ago then the little boy may still be with his family today.
Worcestershire may be glad to see a new medical officer heading their way but they should not be lured into false hope as Dr Kapadia comes from Lincolnshire’s acute hospital trust board which had 3 full time acute hospitals covering the rural county until August 2016 when they closed Grantham Hospital’s A&E for over 14 hours daily. Adults and children have to travel over 50 minutes in an emergency and when needing life saving treatment, children are discharged early sometimes and even turned away due to the remaining hospitals being over capacity.
Centralisation of life saving services and downgrading of local health provisions will only have one dreadful ending and that is more deaths.
This is happening all over the country via the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) in which England is now divided up into 44 “footprints”. Each footprint has a “plan” for integration and centralisation – these plans DO NOT have proper risk assessments – FOI requests have returned NO impact analysis.
If we don’t stop these plans of downgrading, centralising and ultimately privatising then more people will die – more children will die…
We must stop this….
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