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Temporary relocation of emergency gynaecology services from the Alexandra Hospital to Worcestershire Royal Hospital - update

NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, NHS South Worcestershire CCG, NHS Wyre Forest CCG, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire Programme Board must now confirm that the temporary changes to emergency gynaecology services in the county will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

 

The changes were made when it became clear that the body responsible for training doctors – Health Education West Midlands would be unable to place a number of junior doctors at the Alexandra Hospital at the beginning of August.  The inability to fill these posts meant that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust could no longer run separate gynaecology and obstetrics rotas at both the Worcestershire Royal and Alexandra Hospitals.  It was decided that a key priority was to make every effort to maintain a full obstetric services on both sites and that to do this, emergency gynaecology services would be centralised at Worcestershire Royal.  

It is now estimated that this change will affect around ten women per week.  Health Education West Midlands will not review the position until  February 2016 therefore the temporary emergency changes are likely to remain in place for at least six months. However, in the meantime the service will be regularly reviewed and if it is possible to reverse the change before February 2016 the emergency gynaecology service at the Alexandra Hospital will be reinstated.

Patient safety is our main priority and this decision has been made in the best interests of patient care. We apologise to those patients who are inconvenienced by this temporary change to services.

The shortage of specialist staff is one of the key reasons for the current Future of Acute Hospital Services in Worcestershire programme which is looking at how to maintain safe clinical services in the county.  The safety of services is monitored by the Programme Board's Quality and Service Sustainability Sub-Committee and patient safety will continue to be central to decisions around location. We will work with patients and carers to ensure they continue to receive the highest quality of care from this service.

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