Latest Entries »

Potential clinical models for our future hospital services

This section describes the clinical models that we have developed so far. All of the clinical models are presented below for your information along with a commentary from local doctors and nurses about their strengths and weaknesses. This section highlights which of the clinical models we believe to be safe and achievable at the start of our process and those that we have discounted as unsafe or not able to meet future minimum quality standards and our reasons. Those deemed safe and achievable clinically will go forward to the short listing phase. In every clinical model we have stated our commitment to providing facilities to treat minor injuries, outpatients and some diagnostic services in the local area where these services are currently located, to ensure local access is maintained as far as possible.

Petition launched to save the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch sign it.


Join the Facebook group for updates!/pages/Save-the-Alexandra-hospital-Redditch/306299059460450

Also follow on twitter @alexhospital_

Also read the news blog

We would like to hear what you think about these clinical models. You can find a feedback questionnaire at the end of the Case for Change document – Why we need to change our hospital services in Worcestershire.

Model Description More information
A No change (Three sites – fully staffed medical rotas) Click here
B Two acute hospital sites(each with full A&E dept)Women and children’s services brought together onto one siteOne hospital treatment centre with MIU Click here
C One acute hospital site(with a full A&E dept)One acute site with Urgent Care CentreOne hospital treatment centre with MIU Click here
D One acute hospital site(with a full A&E dept)One hospital site providing planned surgeryOne hospital treatment centre (includes planned surgery) with MIU Click here
E One acute hospital site(with a full A&E dept)One hospital site providing planned surgery with MIU Click here
F One acute hospital site (with a full A&E dept) Click here

A petition has been  launched to save the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

So please share the link far and wide amongst friends and family and lets fight to keep our services local

The video can be seen here

A meeting will be held at Redditch Town Hall on July 2nd from 5pm till 8pm places must be pre-booked.

Details on how to book a place at the meeting can be found here


Join the Facebook group for updates!/pages/Save-the-Alexandra-hospital-Redditch/306299059460450

Also follow on twitter @alexhospital_

Also read the news blog

A bad deal for Worcestershire Left by the Labour Party

The annual PFI payment in 2011/12 was circa £30m, the equivalent of 9% of total Trust turnover.


PFIs were a Conservative idea taken on by the Labour government in 1997 with the aim of building state-of-the-art schools, hospitals and other public buildings using loans of private cash.

The Worcestershire Royal Hospital PFI site was opened in 2002. It is a 30 year contract which included the construction and initial financing of the facility as well as the ongoing provision of a comprehensive facilities management service.

The original cost of the hospital was £82m. This debt cannot be rescheduled to take advantage of lower interest rates because it is locked in to the PFI and would incur a crippling early settlement penalty.

By 2032, the hospital will have repaid at least £852.1 Million for a hospital that cost £82m to build but the NHS will never own it.

NHS Worcestershire will face a stark choice when this PFI contract ends, either sign a crippling new contract draining hundreds of millions from frontline services or simply walk away.

The annual PFI payment in 2011/12 was circa £30m, the equivalent of 9% of total Trust turnover.

The existence of the PFI means that the Trust is unable to meet the Monitor Tier 1 Prudential Borrowing Limit requirements, and as such would require a Tier 2 Prudential Borrowing limit.

The cost incurred to date in respect of the private finance initiative (PFI) contract for Worcester Acute Hospitals National Health Service Trust since March 1999 is estimated to be £233.1 million. This is the total of the annual unitary payments paid by the national health service trust to the private sector consortium for all the services it provides under the contract such as construction, provision of building maintenance and facilities management such as catering, cleaning and portering, information technology and equipment provision and replacement.

This figure is based on the audited summarisation schedules of the trust for 2003-04 to 2008-09 held by the Department (which it only has for six years on the same accounting standard); and estimates for 1999-2000 to 2002-03 and 2009-10 based on other information held and standard assumptions about inflation.

The estimated cost to be incurred for the remaining 19 years of the PFI contract is £619 million. This is a projection based on the estimated payment for 2009-10 uprated annually using a retail prices index (RPI) figure of 2.5% (used as a long-term average estimate). It must be noted that the annual unitary payments fluctuate both up and down as a result of contractor performance, additional services requested by the trust or taken out, the effects of refinancings and changes to RPI, so these figures are only estimates.

One of the most contentious and politically significant PFI projects in the UK, the Worcestershire Hospitals project, provides important lessons for the industry. As the subject of many reports and the basis of the arguments of many of the pro- and anti-PFI camps, Worcestershire Acute Hospital is seldom far away from the headlines. But aside from the mudslinging, what can be learnt from the project?
The 450 bed hospital was built on a former greenfield site adjacent to the existing Royal Worcester Infirmary. The complete hospital includes eight major operating theatres (including four so-called ‘ultra clean’ theatres), plus four subsidiaries, a large accident and emergency department, and a specialist radiotherapy unit to boot.
The design of each ward block is based on a 72 bed template, in four, two or one bed rooms with en-suite facilities in accordance with the clinical needs of the area. A specialist children’s ward was also included in the plans. In keeping with prevalent public sector good design principles, a two storey, glazed curtain walled foyer provides a feature entrance to the diagnostic block.
Its construction followed a very intensive pre-construction period in which all the design information was signed and approved by the client, thus enabling the new hospital to be built and completed within the 32 month period.
The cost of the PFI hospital increased by 118% by 2000, as a study by Professor Allyson Pollock, from University College, London, showed. To meet the bill, Kidderminster Hospital in the North of the County was all but closed. Its intensive therapy and maternity wards, and its ‘laminar-flow theatre’, which allowed surgeons to operate without having to worry about the risk of infecting patients, were mothballed to raise money to meet the PFI bill. Absurdly, they had been opened only three years earlier at a price of £15m.
Research conducted by Professor Allyson Pollock and colleagues showed that the costs of raising finance at North Durham, Carlisle and Worcester added an average of 39% to the total capital costs of the schemes. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, private debt always costs more than public debt. Secondly, the amount of capital to be raised through loans or equity under PFI is inflated by financing charges, such as professional fees and the ‘rolled up interest’ due during the construction period when the PFI consortium is not yet receiving any payments from the NHS trust. In addition, there are fees for preparing the PFI bid and contract negotiations, which are not always identified in advance.1
The PFI agreement between Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Catalyst (the consortium provider of ‘soft’ services) was calculated on a bed occupancy rate of 90%. Anything over and above that, the contract averred, and the Trust would have to pay excess charges. In 2003, this happened, to much furore. Catalyst charged an extra £200,000 to pay for the extra work involved in caring for the patients being treated at Worcester as a result of the closure of Kidderminster Hospital. Many people of Worcestershire saw this as a ‘tax’ or ‘fine’ levied by the owing consortium against the Trust, which, it was argued, was being penalised for having too many patients.
“The fact that Worcestershire Acute Hospital is running at 98% capacity proves there aren’t enough beds within the Trust to cope with emergencies and acute demand”, said Dr Richard Taylor at the time. Richard Taylor was the independent Member of Parliament for the formerly marginal Worcestershire seat of Wyre Forest. “Why should the NHS pay this money – when it is so badly needed for patient care?” he asked. “This also shows there’s a lot of secrecy behind PFI deals. There is no accountability, so the Trust has been left to pick up the pieces.”
The lessons from this ongoing political feud are many. There needs to be greater transparency, at an earlier date, in the drawing up of PFI contracts. Greater consideration needs to be given to the wishes of the general public, who are served by, and find great social significance in, their local institutions. This goes beyond base arguments about taxpayers’ money. When the architects of the NHS were trying to create a fair and equal system, they saw it as part of a bigger picture of building a fairer and more equal society. One of the things that the PFI industry has to remember is that people still regard their schools and hospitals as foundations of their communities. A more inclusive, democratic approach would not go against the spirit of inclusiveness and partnership that the industry purports to uphold.

Abandoned litter of puppies is latest find in Kidderminster

Dog wardens from Worcestershire Regulatory Services are appealing for information after members of the public found seven 10-day-old puppies abandoned together with their mother in a secluded area last week.

Found huddled together by two walkers away from busy routes by an industrial estate in Hampton Lovett near Kidderminster on Monday May 14, the tiny dogs and their mother have been temporarily housed with an RSPCA foster home but will all require re-homing if they are to have a future. The mother of the seven strong litter is a german shepherd cross, and a 10 month old male bull mastiff cross was also recovered from the scene.

The authorities are also appealing for information related to the abandoned dogs.

Dog warden for Worcestershire Regulatory Services Pip Singleton said: “It’s heart wrenching to see defenceless young animals abandoned. They were found huddled against the cold with their mother. We are appealing to anyone that might have any information on this to come forward in absolute confidence, because abandonment and causing undue suffering to animals is not just cruel, it’s an offence that we will seek to enforce where possible.

“We’re very lucky that RSPCA Worcester was able to find these young dogs a temporary foster home, but they will need new homes. We would also urge anyone that may want to offer a dog a home to contact us on 01527 881395, and if you can’t offer one of these puppies or adults a home but would like to contribute to the upkeep of their care, we can also provide details on donating to the charity that is currently caring for them.”

Above: The abandoned puppies will need new homes if they are to have a future.

One man arrested as Hundreds protest

Members of the Sikh community have held a sit-down protest outside a police station in Luton following allegations that a young woman was sexually assaulted.

Hundreds of demonstrators congregated outside Buxton Road police station on Tuesday night to air their concerns about Monday’s alleged attack, Bedfordshire Police said.

A number of officers were at the scene to resolve the situation with community leaders, the force added. One man was arrested in connection with the allegations.

A police spokesman said earlier: “Police in Luton are currently in talks with members of the Sikh community who are holding a sit-down protest outside Buxton Road police station.

“Their concerns follow a report that a young woman from their community was sexually assaulted on Monday.

There were reports that members of the English Defence League were also among the crowd.

“The allegations are currently subject of an investigation and all parties involved are being spoken with to establish the facts.

“One man had been arrested in connection with the allegation and inquiries continue.”

Bedfordshire Police said later that the protesters had dispersed.

Worcestershire County Council to put disabled into care

Disabled people could be put into care homes, says County Council.

Under new proposals from Worcestershire County Council, some disabled people who are currently active in their communities may be forced into care homes, if this was the cheaper option.

In a consultation document, “Maximum Expenditure Policy”, Worcestershire County Council proposes to put a cap on all new applications for adult social care, in an about turn to the Council’s commitment to Independent Living. This capping will also apply to those people who are already established in their communities, if they need to be reassessed.

“The consultation process has been poorly publicised,” complained Simon Heng, former chair of the Worcestershire Association of Service Users, “I only found out about the public consultation meeting in Kidderminster Town Hall (on 15 May) four days before it took place. There must be many other people who could be affected, who would have wanted to attend, but were not aware that it was happening” As a result, at the consultation meeting in Kidderminster – one of only three planned open consultations across the county – there were only a handful of members of the public in addition to members and supporters of Wcil. The next open event is at the Wendron Centre, Chapel Street, Bromsgrove at 11 am. on the 28th May. Many of those who did attend expressed a wide variety of concerns, including the fate of informal carers, who may lose their homes if their relatives were forced into residential care and the jobs of personal assistants employed by disabled people currently living independently.

Representatives of the county council could not say how many people this proposal might affect, or what the capping limit would be at today’s costs. Even though WCC is aware that another source of funding, the Independent Living Fund, is likely to end in 2015 (which would affect the care budgets of many disabled people) no contingency plans have been made for this.

Winston Davis, a co-chair of The Worcestershire Coalition for Independent Living and Chair of WASU, the Worcestershire Coalition of Service Users, said “I am opposed to these proposals… Officers should explore more widely how to meet service users care needs. I do not think the council has considered the many social implications, particularly possible family breakup. The estimated savings of £200,000 in the first year does not warrant the potential social disruption. Many people, who have contributed much to their communities, now risk being marginalised.”

Simon Heng asked “We know the county council has to make tough choices in these times of tight budgets. But how many potholes are going to be filled for £200,000? Is your smoother car ride really worth the freedom of the most vulnerable in our communities? I will be asking my county councillor which way they will be voting on this matter in the autumn, and I urge anyone who is concerned, or who has a relative or neighbour who might be affected, to do the same.” It could be you or yours next!

The EDL have called on it’s leader to organise a national demo in Redditch.

A number of EDL members have took to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter calling on Tommy Robinson to organise a national demo in Redditch.

The event would see EDL supporters from across the country in Redditch if  the leadership back the plan.

Although the last demo held was on the whole peaceful three local UAF protesters were arrested.

It is hoped that the EDL  don’t make a return to Redditch any time soon.

The policing costs alone would be huge for a national demo as both sides would see large numbers of protesters in the town centre and would see the shops and market losing much needed trade.

The police were praised by residents after the demos on Saturday and the police in turn thanked residents for remaining calm and peaceful.

But at a time when Redditch will see it’s ambulance station closed and stroke and other services moved from the Alex Hospital i think peoples time would be better spent trying to save them.

Police thank public for support as EDL march ends

 Taxi Drivers Strike in Protest at EDL March

Like many people in Redditch i witnessed the marches by the UAF and EDL on Saturday.

About 1200 residents also watched from around the church, market, and the War Memorial area of the town centre  outnumbering both groups of protesters.

Taxi drivers also held a strike in protest at the EDL march and is due to end at 6am Sunday morning.

Both the EDL and UAF protest groups said that this was the largest number of police officers they have ever seen for a local demo.

The police can take some credit from the fact only three arrests were made and these were for very minor offences.

West Mercia Police have thanked the public for their support in ensuring the English Defence League rally in Redditch passed off peacefully.

Around 40 EDL supporters gathered to hear speeches at the bandstand in Church Green West this afternoon in Redditch.

Approximately 200 counter EDL demonstrators gathered in Easemore Road. However, the rally finished with only three arrests, one man for breach of the peace and two men on suspicion of assault.

Police say all three are believed to have been attached to the counter EDL demonstration. Once EDL supporters had listened to speeches at the bandstand they were escorted by police back to the railway station where they had arrived earlier.

Counter EDL demonstrators held a short gathering at the bandstand before dispersing.

“ “The success of the operation is due to a number of factors, not least the support from partner agencies who helped in preparing the town for today’s event and the fantastic co-operation we have had from the public.

“A significant number of officers and staff were involved in policing the protest and we would like to pay tribute to the professionalism of our colleagues from British Transport Police and neighbouring forces who were involved.

We are grateful for their support. – Superintendent Adrian Pass of West Mercia Police

About 1200 residents watched the Demonstrations by the UAF and EDL around the town centre, church, and market area.

The Police deserve credit for the policing on the day as Redditch on the whole remained peaceful.

Taxi drivers held a strike until 6am Sunday morning.

crowds gathered in Redditch for the Halfords tour series

Team UK Youth win Redditch Round Four

Niklas Gustavsson took a first ever Halfords Tour Series victory for Team UK Youth, and the first for a rider from Sweden, swooping to victory on a challenging Redditch circuit.
The charity backed UK Youth team couldn’t overturn the Endura applecart however, with the orange clad quintet once again taking victory in the all-important team’s classification to make it four wins from four in the 2012 Halfords Tour Series.
Gustavsson outsprinted breakaway companions Dean Windsor, Bernard Sulzberger and Kristian House up the punishing final climb of Unicorn Hill to the finish taking not only the first Series win for Team UK Youth rider, but also the first for a rider from outside of the Endura Racing, Rapha Condor Sharp and Node4 – Giordana triumvirat since Tony Gibb at Canary Wharf in the opening round of 2010.
Behind the Swede Endura placed riders in second, fifth and seventh to comfortably take a fourth win of 2012, although UK Youth once again placed four riders in the top ten, showing their time will soon come.
The topsy-turvy nature of the battle to hang onto Endura’s coattails continued, with Node4 – Giordana Racing taking third on the night, despite only starting four riders, to ensure second to fifth overall are separated by just three four points.
In hot and sunny conditions, with large crowds once again heading to the Series, the pace was initially easy, but the battle for Boardman Bikes Sprints points between Sulzberger and Marcel Six sparked the race into life.
Durham winner House went clear, soon being joined by Windsor as the pair fought out the second Boardman Bikes Sprint.  Sulzberger then crossed to them before the duo of Matt Cronshaw and Gustavsson fought their way across.
The five worked well and built up a minute’s lead around the Choose How You Move Redditch circuit, and with five teams represented in front there was a ceasefire from the main field, who would instead battle it out for the all-important second and third placings.
Onto the final lap and the five strong break were reduced to four when Cronshaw crashed on a corner with just a few hundred metres to go.  Gustavsson took the initiative and attacked at the foot of Unicorn Hill but despites the efforts of Windsor to chase the UK Youth rider held firm in front through the final sweeping right hander to take the win.
Afterwards he reserved some praise for the Worcestershire crowd.
“It was an amazing atmosphere here. It’s the first event here and it was really good. I am very pleased to see such a big crowd tonight,” said Niklas Gustavsson.
“It was a big win for me tonight, I’ve been really looking forward to having a win because last year I came second and all I wanted to do was have a win. It feels great. It’s always great to cross the line first, especially in front of some of these guys.”
Second placed Dean Windsor was also pleased by the support the riders received on the roads of Redditch, saying, “The noise tonight was phenomenal. Redditch put on a really good show. I really hope we come back here next year. The crowds got right behind it. They’re a friendly bunch here and I really want to come back.

“It was quite difficult, it was quite a fast decent and then it dragged all the way up. The last hill was really steep so you had to use all the power you had to get up there. One of the best Tour Series we’ve had I think.”
Kirkcaldy and Oxford winner Thwaites continued his good form by taking the bunch sprint for fourth, after the demise of Cronshaw, who tailed in 34th.
Endura Racing now have a maximum 40 points from the opening rounds, with a lead that now stands at nine points over nearest placed challengers Team UK Youth.
At the other end of the standings Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes and Team Hope Factory Racing remained locked in an intriguing battle level on nine points, with the former picking up an impressive seventh on the evening, ahead of UCI Continental squad Team IG – Sigma Sport, who had an evening to forget
Sulzberger cemented his lead atop the Boardman Bikes Sprints competition, keeping hold of the yellow jersey going into the Aberystwyth round, with a win in Redditch to move 12 points clear of Metaltek Scott’s Marcel Six, with House in third a further two points behind.
Highlights of Round Four from Redditch will be shown on ITV4 at 20:00 on Friday 25th May.  The Halfords Tour Series swings back into action for its third round of the week, with Round Five of the Series on Friday 25th May for the only Welsh round of 2012 in Aberystwyth.
Round Five forms part of the Aberystwyth Cycle Festival, with a number of support races taking place during Friday afternoon, while the festival will culminate in the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the Welsh resort on Sunday 27th May.

The Halfords Tour Series, Round Four, Redditch, Provisional Results
Round Four Individual Result 1)    Niklas Gustavsson, Team UK Youth 2)    Dean Windsor, Endura Racing 3)    Bernard Sulzberger, Team Raleigh – GAC 4)    Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp 5)    Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing 6)    Chris Opie, Team UK Youth 7)    Jonny McEvoy, Endura Racing 8)    Rico Rogers, Node4 – Giordana Racing 9)    Ed Clancy, Rapha Condor Sharp 10)    Yanto Barker, Team UK Youth
Round Four Team Result 1)    Endura Racing 2)    Team UK Youth 3)    Node4 – Giordana Racing 4)    Rapha Condor Sharp 5)    Team Raleigh – GAC 6)    Cycle Premier – Kovert 7)    Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes 8)    Team IG – Sigma Sport 9)    Team Hope Factory Racing 10)    Metaltek Scott
Overall Team Standings, post-Round Four 1)    Endura Racing, 40pts 2)    Team UK Youth, 31pts 3)    Rapha Condor Sharp, 30pts 4)    Node4 – Giordana Racing, 29pts 5)    Team Raleigh – GAC, 28pts 6)    Cycle Premier – Kovert, 16pts 7)    Team IG – Sigma Sport, 15pts 8)    Metaltek Scott, 12pts 9)    Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes, 9pts 10)    Team Hope Factory Racing, 9pts
Boardman Bikes Sprints winner Redditch: Bernard Sulzberger (Team Raleigh – GAC)
Boardman Bikes Sprints standings, post-Round Four 1)    Bernard Sulzberger, Team Raleigh – GAC, 44pts 2)    Marcel Six, Metaltek Scott, 32pts 3)    Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp, 30pts

The Halfords Tour Series is a sister event to The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race, which takes place every September.  To take on the challenge of riding a Tour of Britain route in a Tour Ride, head to to find our more and to register for your challenge!

Police Plan Under Way For EDL Demo In Redditch

Pubs in the town centre will be closed from 1pm till 4pm on Saturday

West Mercia Police is aware of an English Defence League procession that is planned for Redditch on Saturday 26 May.

Superintendent Adrian Pass, police commander for North Worcestershire, said: “We are working closely with Redditch Borough Council and other partner agencies to ensure that any EDL event that takes place causes as little disruption to the people of Redditch as is possible.

“Our operational planning for the day is progressing well and once these plans are finalised we will make them public so that local residents understand what to expect.

“Our first priority will be to inform residents and businesses directly affected by the procession about our plans, but we will also release these details to a wider audience via the local media once they are finalised.

“I would ask people to remember that we simply cannot stop EDL members from coming to Redditch to hold a lawful protest. However, we will make sure than everyone attending the protest understands their legal responsibilities and also warn them that anyone who does break the law can expect to be dealt with very robustly.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure local people that a significant police presence will be on duty on the day and that we will have resources available that will allow us to deal with every likely eventuality.”

A counter demo is also planned by the UAF at the same time.