Letters

Harold Musgrove, quoted in your news focus, 'Closed to argument' (pages 11-13, 13 January), shows himself to be not only patronising to the people who use Kidderminster Hospital but also an amateur in the use of spin.

He said: 'Our plan is to reconfigure services. We are not taking them away.' They are taking away the accident and emergency department and virtually all inpatient facilities.

These will be taken from a site no more than four miles from 100,000 of its patients, and at most 15 miles from the other 35,000, to the new site 18 miles away that will be up to 35 miles distant from some rural communities.

Instead of moving to the brand new private finance initiative hospital in Worcester to be completed in 2002, as has been implied throughout the consultation processes, patients will have to move first to the Georgian, or temporary Second World War building at Worcester from May 2000.

Purpose-built, high-quality hospital buildings at Kidderminster, from only five to 30 years old, will be sold off or knocked about at vast expense long before the new hospital with its reduction in beds and staff has been shown to be inadequate.

Thus there will be no possibility of return to a hospital service that, with the ready assistance of centres of excellence with convenient transport links in Birmingham, Dudley and Wolverhampton, has served local people excellently for over 150 years.

RT Taylor