Hospitals, The Police, Druitt Hall, and more

April 2014

Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals

A rather poorly attended meeting heard an interesting and informative address from Bournemouth Hospital Chief Executive Tony Spotswood. We expected a better turnout for what surely is a matter of some importance to all of us.

Until recently we were reporting building progress on the Christchurch Hospital site. Unfortunately reports to us (and others we believe) suddenly stopped and nobody seems to know why or what to do about it. This does not fill us with confidence.

We also discovered that Bournemouth Hospital is being prevented from using some new equipment by NICE. We wrote to local MP Christopher Chope:

We understand that Robotic Assisted Surgery (RAS) is an increasingly popular alternative to laparoscopic surgery for cancer and that our Trust is the designated local centre for major urological cancers.
We believe that after extensive discussions with commissioners and other local health partners the Trust purchased a Da Vinci robot last autumn and that by the end of March 2014 the Trust will have treated approximately 35 patients for malignant prostate cancer.
We have now learned that NICE has stopped Bournemouth from taking on new patients pending the production of a national commissioning policy for RAS. While we await this policy no new patients will be added to the existing waiting list for RAS, meaning that patients from across Dorset will have to go further afield, and wait longer for robotic surgery.

We understand that in effect the equipment in question, which cost The Trust £1.6 million pounds, is now standing almost idle whilst some civil servant runs round in ever decreasing circles.

As yet no reply has been received

Police Warning about NICE

Officers are advising the public to be wary of e-mails purporting to be from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Thousands of people nationwide have been targeted by hoax emails, claiming to be from NICE.

The email informs them that as a result of a recent blood test, cancer was suspected and they should contact their GP.

The recipients are advised to download their results from an attached link, which may contain malware that displays a false security warning to entice the victim to buy rogue anti-spyware products.

We urge residents to delete any emails they receive like this and report them to the police by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

And a Police Petition

Our Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has launched an e-petition

The law states that the police have to return equipment taken for inspection to its owner in its original condition. This means that an abuser, a person who has sexually assaulted victims, is allowed to retain images of those victims. Martyn will lobby Government to change this fundamental error in the law.  

If you agree with him that the law needs changing, please sign the petition here:

Meetings with DCC and CBC

We met with DCC Councillor Robert Gould to discuss the whole financial situation in Dorset and with CBC Executive to catch up with the latest developments in CBC. Full notes of both meetings are at and click on “latest updates”

Councillor Gould confirmed that £6.8 million has been allocated to fund a new school in West Christchurch – which is good news. But the planned location is being kept secret whilst negotiations continue with the land owner – which is not. We stressed that this is causing rumours and he has promised to tell us the location as soon as the commercial situation allows.

The extreme weather experienced across the County during the winter caused additional expenditure of some £1.2 million of which £750,000 is the subject of a claim on Central Government under the Bellwin Scheme (akin to an insurance claim with £500,000 being the uninsured excess).  

CBC Executive were pleased to report that the response of EDDC-CBC staff to winter storms, particularly those in the front line, had been beyond the call of duty and demonstrated a very high level of commitment by those people to serving their community.

Those Trees Destroyed in Druitt Gardens

In March we outlined the contents of the CBC internal report and suggested that a strategically placed kick on the anatomy of the Planning Department might not go amiss. (If you missed it the March Newsletter is on the website )

Lo and behold – a local businessman Alistair Somerville Ford is now seeking a judicial review in the High Court into how the whole issue has been handled on the grounds that CBC acted irrationally when it approved foundation works which resulted in predictable damage to protected trees.

Everything will go quiet now until a judge decides if a review is warranted.

The New 24 Bus Route

The No. 21 has been renamed the No. 24 and it started its new timetable from 6th April.  DCC are subsidising the route Monday to Saturday inclusive, during the day time (as they did before) between Burton and Bournemouth Hospital. 

This is a considerable achievement resulting from the petitions, letters from residents and representations by Councillor Margaret Phipps.  Yellow buses are operating the route from The Hospital to Alum Chine through Bournemouth as a commercial route.  

If residents and Councillors had not made all the effort we did, then we do not think this route around St. Catherine’s and River Way would have been saved. 

For information on timetables etc. go to

CBC Council Leader

You may have spotted in the Echo that an attempt was made by the local Conservative Party to replace the Council Leader, Councillor Ray Nottage. A vote on the issue tied 11 to 11 and Councillor Nottage, having already voted for himself once, then used his casting vote to reappoint himself. We must stress that his action is entirely consistent with local rules.

A couple of residents asked us how this was possible and why the issue was not a matter for the whole Council. We asked CBC for guidance and an Officer replied:

It is in our CBC constitution that the majority party determine who is to be the Leader of the Council, and this is standard practice.  If I were you I’d encourage people to compare it to what happens nationally.  Parliament does not choose the Prime Minister, and neither do the public. 

The Conservative Association have their own rules about how they choose the Leader of their Group and who becomes Leader of the Council given that parties majority on the Council.  It is this process that has been reported in the press recently and has nothing directly to do with the Council but obviously the outcome does.  It is understandable that the casual observer might be confused by this!

The constitution can only be changed by elected members and they would all be able to give input but again the views of the majority party are likely to prevail

Newly Planted Trees

DCC will shortly be planting new trees in Hurn Road and will be looking at possible future planting in Cedar and Chestnut Avenues. If you have trees missing from outside your house and would like DCC to consider replacements, please let us know.

There is one condition – you and your neighbours have to agree to keep the sapling watered in dry conditions (DCC will supply a watering can!)

Parish Notices

The Hall on the Hill Committee is interested in your views on future events to be run there.

Go to to complete their questionnaire which can be e-mailed to

Our collectors have started collecting 2014 subscriptions with Katterns Close closely followed by Lees Close the first two to report back. We still need collectors in the Albion Road, Canberra Road, and Endfield Road areas.

For the first time you can now follow our financial fortunes month to month as we have posted our year-to-date accounts to the website
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