THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
PATIENTS at hospitals in south Warwickshire are more likely to recommend the service to family and friends than the majority of other hospitals in the Midlands and East of England.
For the last six months, the South Warwickshire NHS Trust, which oversees hospitals in Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Shipston-on-Stour, and Leamington, has been in the top nine out of 46 trusts in the region.
The monthly test, introduced by David Cameron last year, asks patients whether they would “recommend an NHS service to their friends and family.”
Helen Lancaster, Director of Nursing, said: “The feedback from patients on their experience across the community and our hospitals is essential for each department to gauge how well they are performing. Many of our teams have made improvements on the back of the suggestions made by patients.”
The results come after Warwick Hospital was rated 4th in the Dr Foster Hospital guide for NHS hospitals in 2012, and received the ‘UK’s Most Improved Hospital’ award in 2011.
The trust’s Shipston-born Chief Executive, Glen Burley, said: “Patient experience is a really important measure of quality and therefore it is great that we have been amongst the top trusts from the start. We can always learn a lot from patient comments so the trust will continue to use patient feedback to drive our services forward.”
Staff at hospitals in south Warwickshire are also happier with their jobs than the majority of other NHS workers in the UK.
Each year the Department of Health asks NHS staff a variety of questions about their employers and the results of their 2012 survey were published last week.
The trust scored in the top 20 per cent in the majority of categories and workers are above the national average for job satisfaction. The only area which was below the national average was linked to staff appraisals.
Mr Burley said: “Recent events elsewhere in the NHS have highlighted the importance of having the right organisational culture. I believe that if your staff are motivated, connected and would recommend your services then it is a very positive indicator of quality.”
Sessions are planned for staff to discuss their views on NHS culture linked to the findings of the Francis Report into the care scandal at Stafford Hospital.
The trust oversees Warwick Hospital, Stratford Hospital, Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston, and Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital.
It is paying off an £18.5 million debt this month. Click here to read more.