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Hydrotherapy pool saved from threat of closure

A hydrotherapy pool in Berkshire has been saved from the threat of closure.

Campaigners fought to save the pool after the Royal Berkshire Hospital announced plans to shut the facility in March, with thousands signing an online petition.

The hospital board has now said the pool will stay open but it needs to find a new location.

It provides vital pain relief for patients with conditions like multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease.

As Juliette Fletcher reports.

Juliette spoke to Kim Seabrook from Arthritis Matters

Pay & display row near the Royal Berkshire Hospital

The Royal Berkshire Hospital car park at full capacity

Finding parking at any hospital can be difficult at times. Staff and patients at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading often find themselves parking on surrounding streets when the car park is full. However, that has caused frustration for some people who live nearby.

Now it is feared that new restrictions on roads near the hospital are going to lead to more stress for staff and patients.

Reading Borough Council has approved plans to introduce pay and display charges on Addington Road and Erleigh Road despite strong opposition - including a petition with more than eight thousand signatures.

The council says the scheme is designed to make parking easier for neighbouring residents, but campaigners say it is morally wrong.

The interviewees in Mel Bloor's report are Rob Wilson, MP for Reading West, Conservative; and Clare Goulbourn-Lay, the midwife who started the petition.

In response to the suggestion that the hospital move to somewhere with more space for staff and patients to park, a Royal Berkshire Hospital spokesperson said that relocating the Hospital is not a new idea, and has been discussed on a number of occasions.

They added: "A new build could cost in excess of £200 million pounds. Any decision to relocate the hospital is not one the Trust would be able to make alone, and would need in depth discussion with the wider health care economy serving the area, along with NHS England and other partners.".


Concerns over plans for pay and display parking near hospital

Patient groups and staff say the on-site car park is too small Credit: ITV Meridian

Plans to introduce pay and display parking in residential streets near the Royal Berkshire Hospital have met with public opposition.

The borough council says it would ease congestion in the area - but the proposal has been condemed by local people, patient groups and staff who say the on site car park is too small - and charges elsewhere would make work or visits expensive.

ITV Meridian spoke to midwife, Clare Goulbourn-Lay.

A&E at bursting point - Hospital urges patients to only visit in a real emergency

The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading is urging patients to only visit if it's a REAL emergency after the casualty department has seen its busiest weeks of the year so far.

Usually, A&E staff treat around 250 to 280 people across Saturdays and Sundays. But last weekend there were around 350 people wanting attention. Kate Bunkall has our report.

A & E at Royal Berkshire Hospital fully reopens after three days

Royal Berks A&E reopens Credit: ITV News

The A & E department at the Royal Berkshire Hospital has fully reopened after three days. It follows problems caused by a fire, flooding and a power-cut. Officials say, though, that the hospital is still under extreme pressure and is urging people with non-emergency concerns to consider other alternatives.

Mary Sherry, Chief Operating Officer for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“I want to thank our staff for working tirelessly to keep our patients safe despite the challenging working conditions since Thursday morning. It was a real team effort from all staff across the hospital to keep our essential services running - including our nurses, doctors, catering staff, cleaners, porters, administrators, maintenance staff, volunteers, and managers, to name a few. I recognise that staff in Battle and North blocks have worked in some very difficult conditions over the last few days and I'd like to thank them specifically for their commitment to their patients and their colleagues during this period."

– Royal Berkshire Hospital

Royal Berkshire Hospital A&E 'gradually reopening'

Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading Credit: ITV News Meridian

A water leak meant the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, lost power in Battle and North Block of the hospital, which also resulted in power outage. Areas affected included elderly care wards, critical care unit, stroke unit and some outpatient areas.

Mary Sherry, Chief Operating Officer for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We have completed all necessary patient moves within the hospital due to yesterday's power outage, resulting in 89 patients safely moved from Battle Block. We are working to restore power with additional temporary generators at some point over the weekend.

"From 9pm this evening we started to gradually reopen our A&E to receiving ambulances. The hospital still remains on internal incident alert and is still under extreme pressure. We would ask for the public to consider and only attend our A&E if critically ill. I would like to extend a very big thank you to all staff within the hospital and also to those who have assisted from South Central Ambulance Services and neighbouring hospitals.”

– Royal Berkshire Hospital


Royal Berkshire Hospital's A&E 'formally closed'

Royal Berkshire Hospital formally closes after power outage Credit: ITV News

A water leak that occurred in the early hours of this morning meant the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, lost power in Battle and North Block of the hospital, which also resulted in power outage. Areas affected included our elderly care wards, critical care unit, stroke unit and some outpatient areas.

Mary Sherry, Chief Operating Officer for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Our staff have been working hard through the night to ensure areas impacted by yesterday’s power outage and isolated fire are back to normal.

“All water has been restored across the hospital. We now have the majority of power back on in North Block; however, we continue to have power issues on the north side of Battle Block, due to the extent of water damage. Our engineers on site are doing all that they can to ensure full power is restored as quickly and as safely as possible.

“Patients from the Coronary Care Unit were moved to Lodden Ward because of the smoke from yesterday’s isolated fire. These patients will remain on Lodden Ward until the area is ready for them to be returned safely.

“The hospital is currently in major incident status due to the uncertainty of when full power will be restored to Battle Block and North Block. To ensure patient safety, we will be moving patients from Battle Block to other areas of the hospital.

“Our A&E is formally “closed” to anything other than life-threatening conditions. Members of the public are asked to either attend an urgent care centre, a walk in centre or A&E at Wexham Park, Stoke Mandeville, Frimley or Basingstoke with whom we have arranged a formal divert.”

– Royal Berkshire Hospital

RBH statement on Monitor investigation

“It is important to stress that we are continuing, as always, to provide high quality and safe care to our patients across the Trust. The matters which Monitor will be looking at, to ensure we are taking the correct actions, date back some time. We are aware of the issues and are working hard to put them right – and firmly believe we can achieve that. We are determined to deliver what we are contracted to provide and, importantly, what is right for our patients. The Executive team and Board will be working closely with Monitor to respond to their investigation.”

– Chief Executive Jean O’Callaghan

Monitor launches investigation into Royal Berkshire Hospital

The healthcare regulator is investigating Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust because of concerns about aspects of its performance.

Royal Berkshire Hospital has identified problems with its data on patient waiting times, which has raised questions about its ability to meet national waiting time targets.

Monitor is also concerned that the trust is predicting that it may suffer larger financial losses this year than previously thought.

“We are investigating because of problems with the trust’s financial position, and because there are potential concerns with the way it manages patient waiting lists. Since August, the trust’s new Chief Executive has made some progress with tackling these issues, including making the trust leadership more effective. However, we need to make sure the trust is doing enough to fix these problems and improve how the hospital is run for its patients.”

– Paul Streat, Regional Director at Monitor

Monitor will announce the outcome of its investigation, and any regulatory action, in due course.

New Intensive Care mobile trolley launched

A new hi-tech life support trolley which can transport patients between different wards or even to other hospitals has been launched at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

The Intensive Care Unit has carried out it's first live trials using the seventy thousand pound machine. It's hoped if it proves a success, more of the trolleys will be bought. ITV Meridian spoke to Lead murse for Clinical Care at the RBH, Rob Williams.

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