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24 September 2014
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Crisis timeline

Some of the big health stories on BBC Hereford and Worcester's news bulletins over the past few years...

The story of the financial problems in Worcestershire go back to 1998. Here are some of the stories that have been run in the news bulletins on BBC Hereford and Worcester:

  • 03/02/98:

Announcement that a medical-geriatric ward is to close at Kidderminster General Hospital, as the trust and local GPs try to find savings of £530,000.  Worcestershire's Acute Trusts have together been told to tighten their belts to the tune of £1.5m.

  • 11/03/98:

The financial backers of the new hospital in Worcester put the scheme on hold until the outcome of the review into the county's healthcare is known. The Chairman of Worcester Royal Infirmary Trust, Richard Young, says Catalyst, the backers of the £91m scheme, need to know the specific details about what services the hospital will be providing, which will be known after Worcestershire Health Authority review.

  • 07/05/98:

Worcestershire health authority propose to downgrade Kidderminster Hospital, transferring most services to Worcester, and cutting some services at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital.

  • 08/01/98:

Campaigners say the proposed closure of a mental health unit in Redditch will make an already difficult situation intolerable.

  • 18/09/00:

Services at Kidderminster General Hospital are limited to a local emergency minor injuries centre.

  • 16/01/03:

Financial inspectors at the Audit Commission say the Worcestershire NHS Acute Hospitals Trust is in serious financial difficulties.

  • 25/03/03:

Trust staff at Worcester, Kidderminster and Redditch hospitals are concerned they aren't going to get paid. A £7.5m loan is offered to help make ends meet.

  • 26/05/04:

Plans are announced to cut a number of health services in South Worcestershire. The Primary Care Trust plans to reduce or remove services such as sexual health provision and GP-based counselling services.

  • 28/04/04:

The Worcestershire Acute Trust is named and shamed as having one of the largest debts in the country. It's one of only a handful in the country at this stage with deficits of more than £5m. The National Audit Office says the Trust is £9.9m in the red.

  • 09/07/05:

Petition started to oppose the closure of wards at Evesham Hospital. Two wards threatened as part of a £4m cost-cutting exercise.

  • 15/08/05:

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust plans to consult an independent panel on its efforts to cut £20m a year from its budget after it built up one of the highest deficits in the country.

  • 30/09/05:

There are plans for radical changes to the organisation of health services in the Two Counties. The Strategic Health Authorities in the West Midlands region will merge and the number of Primary Care Trusts in Worcestershire will be cut from three to one. The move will effectively reverse the creation of the trusts four years ago. Health officials insist there will be no knock-on effect for patient services.

  • 18/11/05:

An 18,000 signature petition to try and save hospital services in Redditch is being handed to health officials. Opposition to proposed cuts to A and E and maternity services at the Alexandra has grown since the Worcestershire Hospital NHS Trust announced it was one option in their bid to save £20m.

  • 06/04/06:

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust announces 720 job losses - 15% of all staff including doctors and nurses. It needs to save £30m. The job losses are part of a national set of over 6000 losses.

  • 11/05/06:

A coachload of nurses from Worcestershire takes part in a mass lobby of Parliament - organised by the Royal College of Nursing.

  • 24/05/06:

Patient services are at risk in South Worcestershire after the Primary Care Trust has announced it needs to cut its budget by £13m. The adjustment come as a result of money being "top sliced" to help with a national NHS financial problem.

last updated: 19/06/06
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