Campaigners against the closures of maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch are gathering outside the hospital.
Maternity services will be closed from midday because there aren't enough staff to safely cover neonatal rotas.
Services are being temporarily transferred 20 miles away to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Read more here.
Maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch will close from today and are being transferred to a hospital 20 miles away.Read the full story ›
Councillors have reacted to news that maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch are to be closed, calling it "troubling".
“We’re very disappointed at the news that people won’t be able to go to the Alex to give birth from Thursday.
“None of us wants to put anyone at risk and safety is of paramount importance but it’s not good enough and we’re seeking firm commitments from the trust as to when this temporary closure will end. As winter sets in the well-known difficulties people in Redditch face to get to Worcestershire Royal will only get worse.”
“This latest development is troubling and I hope they will resolve it quickly for everyone’s sake. The concern is also that this is a glimpse of what the future holds for Accident and Emergency and our other local services.”
Maternity services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch are to be temporarily closed as there aren't enough staff to cover neonatal rotas.Read the full story ›
Alexandra Hospital in Redditch has seen its consultant team running the accident and emergency services quit.Read the full story ›
Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch, is delighted that Alexandra Hospital will keep its accident and emergency centre and says an Orthopaedics centre will be transferred to the hospital:
The Alexandra Hospital should keep its accident and emergency centre as well as the majority of its maternity services, an independent panel has ruled.
Under the proposals from the panel leading the Independent Clinical Review into the future of acute hospitals in Worcestershire, overnight specialist care for children and consultant-led maternity services will be transferred to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
The group ruled out the option of another Trust taking over services at Alexandra Hospital as this would create "a significant inequality in the provision of safe and sustainable services to the population of Worcestershire."
Instead it is recommended that the hospital becomes an 'Emergency Centre' - echoing plans outlined by NHS Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh - which will broadly provide the same services.
Paediatric inpatients will be centralised in Worcester but a day-time assessment unit will remain at Alexandra Hospital to deal with the majority of cases.
If all the boards support the recommendations they will be put out for public consultation in the autumn.
People are being advised to avoid the Alexandra, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals as cases of norovirus 'continue to put extreme pressure on the system.'
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust says only family members of patients can make essential visits. It asks for no visitors under the age of 16 in order to prevent the bug spreading to schools.
The Trust says the hospitals are continuing to make progress in bringing norovirus under control.
The Save the Alex Campaign are urging members of the public to keep fighting for the future of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
They are holding a meeting tonight to talk about how they plan to fight back.
The campaigners are unhappy at the findings of the Joint Service Review and feel that 'the deal has been done'.
They fear that The Alexandra Hospital will be downgraded with patients having no choice other than travel to Worcester Royal.
The horsemeat scandal has prompted the Food Standards Agency to ask a number of local authorities to carry out random tests.
Staffordshire County Council have already removed all processed beef from their school menus.
Trading Standards officers in Leicestershire have now found traces of pork in beef products taken from supermarkets and takeaways.
Jane Hesketh reports.