MY HUSBAND recently had to have an emergency operation at The Royal to remove his gall bladder as it had perforated and he had developed sepsis.
He had been waiting nine months for a referral just to see a consultant.
Three weeks ago, I wrote to my MP Rachel Maclean asking for the timescale of the new surgical hub in Worcestershire, one of 50 new hubs announced by the Government in August 2022 to cope with the surgical backlog.
I understood there was a plan to build seven new operating theatres at the Alexandra Hospital.
Looking at the Redditch Council web page relating to planning, it is documented the application was refused on September 30, 2022, due to insufficient information to determine the transport and highway impacts of the proposals.
So, this process could take forever if it even gets passed, then there is the build and fitting out itself so we could be looking at several years, if this ever takes place.
How many patients will die through waiting for elective procedures that then become critical?
I also asked Mrs Maclean about the outpatient medicine shortages I experienced at the Alexandra Hospital where prescriptions were only being part filled due to low stocks, and where people were advised by chemists in Redditch to go to the pharmacy at the hospital as they were out of stock.
I also understand the medicine sales tax has been increased on generic medicines from 14.3 per cent in 2022 to 24.4 per cent in 2023 and this will, in turn be passed on by the pharmaceutical sector to the NHS.
This will hugely increase the bill paid by the NHS for medications.
Finally, I mentioned the promised £550million on September 22 by the Government to speed up adult social care discharge and release beds in hospitals.
The NHS Confederation has advised it has not received a penny of this to date.
This email I sent was polite and courteous and I quickly received an acknowledgement.
However, three weeks later I have not received a response, despite sending a reminder.
Clearly, constituents’ correspondence can be filed in the dustbin as unimportant, compared to weekly photo opportunities and writing a PR column in the local newspaper.
Anything remotely critical of this government can be ignored.
The library survey
Regarding Redditch Library, the County Council survey asks:
‘It is proposed that Redditch Library will be relocated to allow for the Redditch Town Plan to be realised.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the new location for the Library being the Redditch Town Hall? ‘
The reference is only to the most recent Town Plan.
Over the last decade no consultants’ reports for improving the Town Centre have suggested moving the library.
Since it opened in 1976 the area for library use has been reduced.
The National Government’s dosh could be spent to increase the size of the building rather than demolishing it.
Land is available at the back in Market Walk and at the side in Alcester Walk.
This would not encroach Kingfisher Shopping Centre land and would increase footfall in the area.
A rather flippant remark heard is that any extension to the current library building should include dormer-type windows.
Councillor Dormer has objected to the brick wall at the back of it
I ATTENDED my first RBC meeting as an observer in the public area.
There are many comments I could make following my attendance as it really was an illuminating experience.
I expected to see democracy in action with healthy, challenging debate where all members displayed honesty, openness, transparency, accountability and good manners.
Instead I saw behaviour amongst the ruling Tory group reminiscent of our national government in the House of Commons.
I witnessed smirking, eye rolling and poor manners in response to valid and important points being made by Labour councillors.
Even worse was a Tory group demonstrating complacency and entitlement, only possible because of their majority.
Their arguments, were nearly all lacking in solid evidence and clear logical argument.
All this against a backdrop of moving the library 100m down the road at a cost that is already outdated by inflation.
The plans for the town’s regeneration are severely lacking in innovation and creativity.
No one will be attracted to Redditch because there are good coffee shops and a shiny new station.
The current state of our national politics and the serious cost of living crisis seems to have almost passed them by, which will hopefully be their downfall in any forthcoming elections.
Our population in Redditch is proportionally very young.
I hope that generation Z will kick this lot to the curb.