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GRAHAM BALLINGER

Leader of Wyre Forest District Council being interviewed on BBC News At One on the subject of the recent River Severn floods

Stourport Medical Centre developments

With the Stourport Health Centre and York House Medical Centre expecting to merge to form a new practice, their multi-million pound medical centre to replace two Stourport doctors' surgeries has taken an important step forward. Planned to be up and running by spring 2021, the new centre will care for 21,500 patients and its facilities will feature 76 car parking spaces, electric car charging points and an on-site pharmacy. Wyre Forest District Council has sold its land at Dunley Road for £300,000 to allow this state-of-the-art facility to get under way. The sale was agreed in July last year and a planning application for the new medical centre was approved by the Planning Committee in December. "We have achieved market value for the land and will be able to use the receipt to invest in other worthwhile capital projects in the district - such as the council's Evergreen Investment Fund, which provides funding for future investment.” Councillor Fran Oborski, Wyre Forest's cabinet member for ‘economic regeneration, planning and capital investments’, said: “I am delighted that the sale of the land has been completed and that Stourport will now be able to benefit from modern facilities for GPs and primary care, as Bewdley and Kidderminster have already done.” Location: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Stourport-on-Severn/@52.3325729,-2.2891836,1285m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x48708b3c9f924aa7:0x9b42fc6bdf9cfa1!8m2!3d52.3417839!4d-2.277593 Planning details: http://www.wyreforest.gov.uk/fastweb/detail.asp?AltRef=19/0565/FULL&Scroll=4&Nothing=3&Nothing=2&Nothing=1&ApplicationNumber=&AddressPrefix=Dunley+Road&Postcode=&CaseOfficer=&Parish Name=&AreaTeam=&WardMember=&DateReceivedStart=&DateReceivedEnd=&DateDecidedStart=&DateDecidedEnd=&Locality=&AgentName=&ApplicantName=&ShowDecided=&DecisionLevel=&Sort1 =FullAddressPrefix&Sort2=DateReceived+DESC _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bewdley Flood Defences Get Beefed-Up Over Summer

Some £300,000 worth of maintenance of the Severnside defences in Bewdley forms part of the £7.5m flood recovery programme which is under way in the West Midlands by the Environment Agency who are continuing work repairing defences damaged in the wake of Storms Ciara and Dennis in February, prioritising communities most at risk of flooding. The work will protect 270 properties damaged in October and February. This includes resetting block pavers that sit under the flood barriers to reduce seepage; as well as resealing the permanent elements of the barrier, and the recladding of the flood wall at Gardners Meadow. Expecting the work to be complete by the end of August Richard Henderson, asset recovery manager for the Environment Agency, said: "We carry out regular checks, tests and repairs that ensure our defences can continue to reduce flood risk to homes and businesses.” The Severnside scheme, which protects properties on the town side of the river, consists of concrete flood walls, demountable barriers and two pumping stations. The work prevents the catastrophic flooding which took place 20 years ago. __________________________________________________________________________________
West Mercia Police Detectives have opened a criminal inquiry into the biggest maternity scandal in British history and are meeting NHS officials and the leader of a probe into 1,200 cases dating back to the 1970s. Maternity staff at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust could face criminal charges over a huge scandal following their Investigations into failings at two hospitals where dozens of babies died or suffered brain damage. 'A police investigation will be conducted to explore whether there is evidence to support a criminal case either against the trust or any individuals,' said Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Wessell of West Mercia Police. The investigation is now live so we are unable to comment any further at this time.' An independent review led by Donna Ockenden 1 was launched by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt in April 2017 to look into 23 cases but the number rose dramatically to 1,250. 'It is clear that the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust haven't been open about their failures under the expected duty of candour that applies to NHS Trusts. And promises of lessons being learned have not been kept.’ The ongoing review by Miss Ockenden for NHS Improvement has so far identified at least 45 avoidable deaths, including those of 42 babies and three mothers. There were also 51 cases of brain damage or cerebral palsy in infants and 47 further incidents of substandard care from 1979 to 2017. A leaked interim report said there was a 'toxic' culture at the maternity unit dating back 40 years with some parents saying that they were pressured into having 'natural' births in midwife-supervised units. A number of deaths have been blamed on midwives not monitoring foetal heart rates properly. 'Untrue' .. 'Irresponsible' .. 'Scaremongering' were the damning words with which the then chief executive Simon Wright of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust dismissed press reports when the first exposé of the extent of its maternity scandal emerged in August 2018. 'To suggest that there are more cases which have not been revealed when this is simply untrue is irresponsible and scaremongering.' Mr Wright was forced to resign in June last year. The trust's director of nursing and midwifery, Deidre Fowler had, most fortuitously, left her post four months earlier (that is .. before ‘the bovine excrement entered the turbine’) .. however, she left to work in another hospital (!) .. in Bedford. During the past two years the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust 's maternity services have been in ‘special measures’ due to the Care Quality Commission’s rating of 'inadequate.' Louise Barnett, chief executive of the trust, said it would fully cooperate with the investigation. 1 With more than 30 years experience of working within a variety of health settings both in the UK and internationally. Donna’s career spans a number of sectors including acute providers, commissioning, hospital, community and education. For more than fifteen years she has worked within a number of increasingly senior NHS leadership roles including more than five years experience as Divisional Director of two large Women and Children’s Divisions on the South Coast and in London. _________________________________________________________________