news focus

October 97 Informal consultation on seven specialties and sub-specialties led by Worcestershire health authority.

November 97 Campaign to save Kidderminster General Hospital started. First protest march and petition.

February 98 HA consultation document Investing in Excellence published - backs single acute trust and downgrading the hospital.

May 98 Attempts by MP David Lock to broker a compromise. More demonstrations.

June 98 HA chooses 'option four' - downgrading of Kidderminster General Hospital. Kidderminster and District community health council refers to health secretary Frank Dobson.

October 98£60,000 raised for judicial review of consultation process.

December 98 Mr Dobson backs HA. Oral application for judicial review.

January 99 Judge refuses consent for review.

March 99 Mr Dobson visits Worcester for signing of private finance initiative contract.

May 99 Of 15 candidates, 11 are elected to local councils. Court of Appeal rejects appeal for judicial review.