The chief executive of Birmingham's planned super-hospital has warned senior medical staff that clinical services may have to be cut if the #559 million project is to get Government approval.
Mark Britnell was reacting to the surprise announcement that HM Treasury officials will be visiting the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust next week to examine the finances of the massive PFI scheme. Mr Britnell plans to address an emergency meeting of 400 consultants and professors on Thursday, at which "options for savings" will be discussed. One possibility is that some of the services planned for the new hospital may have to be placed elsewhere within the NHS locally.
Schools, libraries nurseries and job centres across the West Midlands were closed yesterday as up to 80,000 public sector workers took part in a one-day strike over pension cuts. Demonstrations were held across the region by public sector workers angry over Government proposals that would end the so-called 85-year rule, under which council staff can retire if their age and length of service add up to 85 years. The one-day strike saw local government workers either stay at home or man picket lines in the biggest bout of industrial action since the 1926 General Strike. Nationally around one and a half million people were thought to have joined the strike, which brought transport chaos to some parts of the country.
Birmingham lacks ambition and needs to get its act together, Lord Bhattacharyya, head of Warwick Manufacturing Group has warned. The Government adviser and influential industrial expert said the city should be "aspiring to be the best", but warned: "We seem to lack the killer punch:. He blames the region's woes on lack of leadership, poor transport infrastructure, too few iconic buildings, low skill levels and marketing weakness.