SIR – I congratulate Worcester News for giving a weekly update on the performance of Worcester’s hospital.

I have nothing but admiration for all the doctors, nurses and all the other staff for their hard work and dedication providing hospital services in very difficult circumstances.

I am however alarmed that it appears common for our hospital to be operating at around 98 per cent of its bed capacity.

A safer operational target of 85 per cent would allow flexibility to be able to cope with unforeseen additional demands such as the current outbreak of coronavirus.

Worcester City Council is working with the other neighbouring district councils to create the South Worcestershire Development Plan. Lots of effort is going into deciding where all the 14,000 new houses will be built.

But I am concerned, to date, I don’t see a transparent matching plan for how the capacity of our local hospital will be increased to meet the demands coming from the new houses being built or indeed to meet the demands of an ageing population.

Collectively we must keep up the pressure on the government to take meaningful action to increase hospital capacity.

Louis Stephen

Green City Councillor, Battenhall Ward