Frequently asked questions
1. Why do things need to change?
There are lots of reasons why some of the hospital services available in Worcestershire at the moment need to change. One of the most pressing reasons is the national shortage of staff in some key areas, especially, maternity, the care of new born babies and children’s doctors.
2. Is the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch going to close?
No. Our vision is that the Alexandra Hospital will continue to be a thriving local hospital for the people of Redditch and north Worcestershire. It will be a centre of excellence for many planned operations and it will continue to have an Accident and Emergency Department (for adults over 16 only) and a full range of outpatient and diagnostic facilities.
3. Which services would be affected by the proposals?
The main services affected would be:
- Children’s services
- Accident and Emergency
- Emergency surgery
- Most other services would continue to be available as they are now.
4. How would the proposals affect maternity services?
Under the proposals all hospital births in the country would be at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Women will be able to have all their ante-natal and post-birth check ups and tests at the Alexandra Hospital. They will also be able to choose a home birth, if they are suitable, or to have a hospital birth outside the county for instance in Warwick or Birmingham.
5. How would the proposals affect children’s services?
Under the proposals all inpatient beds for children would be at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Children will have outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests at the Alexandra Hospital but if they need to be admitted to hospital they will be admitted to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
6. How would the proposals affect accident and emergency services?
There would still be accident and emergency units at both the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal hospitals but the accident and emergency unit at the Alexandra Hospital would be for adults (over 16 years of age only). Both hospitals will also have 24-hour urgent care centres which will treat children and adults with moderate and minor injuries and illnesses.
7. How would the proposals affect emergency surgery?
Most emergency surgery takes place at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and under our proposals all emergency surgery would take place at the Worcestershire Royal. We would develop the amount of semi-emergency surgery (such as the draining of an abscess) which could take place at the Alexandra Hospital.
8. How would the proposals affect planned surgery?
Different types of planned surgery would be delivered at different hospitals and centres of excellence would be developed at both the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal hospital sites. Planned surgery for orthopaedics, urology (including urological cancer), breast surgery and benign Upper GI surgery would be completed in Redditch and colorectal surgery, vascular surgery and head and neck cancer surgery would be delivered in Worcester.
9. How would the proposals affect orthopaedic services?
The proposal is for the Alexandra Hospital to become a centre of excellence for orthopaedics for the whole county. Outpatient orthopaedic services would still be available in all of the same locations as currently.
10. How would the proposals affect urology services?
Specialist urology services for patients who need to stay in hospital would continue to be provided at the Alexandra Hospital. Outpatient services would be provided in the same local hospitals as they are now.
11. Would the proposed changes affect services at Kidderminster Hospital?
The proposed changes would strengthen Kidderminster Hospital’s future. They would develop the number of planned operations the hospital can deliver.
12. What’s being done to improve public transport between hospital sites?
During the consultation we are trialling a minibus services for patients, staff and visitors. We are also talking to patients, staff and visitors about how they currently travel to hospital and how they would like to travel in the future.
13. Why has the process taken so long?
It is important that we find the best solution for all patients in Worcestershire. All options needed to be evaluated in detail and this has taken some time. National medical guidance and the needs of patients are also constantly changing and we have needed to review and update our proposals to take this into account. We don’t want to rush to find a solution for the sake of doing things quickly which will not meet the needs of our patients or provide the best quality service in the long term.
14. Will the public have a chance to be involved in the process?
Yes, we want the public to tell us what they think about our proposals and let us know if there is anything else we should be considering. We will be talking to groups and individuals throughout the consultation and encouraging them to have their say.
15. How can I find out more about the proposals and the public consultation?
You will be able to find out the most up-to-date information on this website. The dates of any events we are running as part of the public consultation will be advertised here. We will also promote these events and let you know how you can give us your views in the local media and through voluntary sector groups and other organisations.
16. What services would stay the same?
The vast majority of services would stay the same. There are no planned changes to outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests and 95% of people would continue to receive their treatment in the same hospital as they do now.
17. How would the Worcestershire Royal Hospital cope with more patients?
In order to create capacity for services which would be moving to Worcester, some services which are currently being provided at The Worcestershire Royal would move to Kidderminster or Redditch. These include most planned orthopaedic (bone) operations.