A CONTROVERSIAL diversion which sees patients in Kidderminster sent to Redditch’s Alexandra hospital instead of Worcestershire Royal is set to continue.

The move, which was met with condemnation and concern from campaign groups, was supposed to last just one week but there is no sign of it ending.

It is an attempt to reduce the overcrowding crisis at the Worcester hospital.

But with a number of services recently transferred from Redditch to Worcester there are fears the Alex won’t cope.

Hospital bosses have said “additional resources” will be available at the Alex but have not gone into any detail.

A spokesman on behalf of the three Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “NHS Improvement, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and West Midlands Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust are currently undertaking a pilot where they have revised the protocol for ambulance borders and conveyances.

“For a short period of time patients from some postcodes in Kidderminster will be conveyed on a planned basis to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

“It is quite common place already that the ambulance service and the trust work to vary demand between the two sites when under pressure.

“This only affects 999 calls and doesn’t impact on GP admissions.”

They were unable to say when and if the move will come to an end. It was originally agreed that the move would run for just one week, starting from June 18.

Speaking previously, a spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We welcome this pilot because we believe it will help us treat patients in need of urgent care more quickly, reduce waiting times and balance demand across our two Emergency Departments more effectively.”