THE welfare of Redditch will be the only topic on the agenda when council leader Bill Hartnett holds high level talks with health chiefs in Worcester today (Friday).
The summit was called by Councillor Hartnett in the wake another damning assessment of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust by the Care Quality Commission.
As reported last week in the Redditch Standard, inspectors, who made two unannounced visits in April, found ‘no tangible improvement’ since their last inspection in November 2016.
The Trust continues in ‘Spacial Measures’ with a severe ‘Section 29a’ order hanging over it which could potentially lead to its take over by another more successful health trust.
The Trust is also in deep financial trouble and struggling to hit a debt target of just over £30million with the potential for this to run out to £47million.
In addition the local doctors organisation, Redditch & Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, has been rated ‘Inadequate’ by CQC inspectors.
However local campaigners say this is largely due to its poor financial state caused by central government failing to acknowledge the high level of need in the area.
Earlier this year Redditch Borough Council held a cross party health commission which agreed the town should be looking to Birmingham as its major health care provider, and not Worcester.
Coun Hartnett said: “My position is the same as the health commission’s. However, we are where we are, and what I’ll be asking is this: What are they going to be doing about the current situation, when are they going to be doing it and when is it going to get better?”
He also expressed his concern at the axing of the Redditch to Worcester health hopper bus and is keen to discover the frequency and cost of its replacement, which is due to come into service in September.
Coun Hartnett will be accompanied by the borough’s deputy chief executive and will be meeting with Michelle McKay, the chief executive of the health trust, Simon Trickett, chief accounting officer of the CCG and a representative of Redditch MP Rachel Maclean who is currently on holiday.