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Hospital Watch launched in link-up for war on crime.

Police are joining forces with staff to step up security at a Midland hospital.

Hospital Watch is to be launched at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, tomorrow in a bid to reduce crime and improve security for patients.

The new scheme follows the success of beat officer Pc Mac Knight, from Wednesfield, who is now permanently based on the hospital site.

Pc Knight has been issued with a special hospital radio, pager and answering machine to enable staff to report any suspicious incidents and has his photo and name displayed throughout the hospital wards.

Police and hospital chiefs are hoping the high-profile Hospital Watch scheme will further deter would-be offenders from the hospital and create a safer environment.

As part of the scheme, New Cross will be divided into 25 zones, each covered by a Hospital Watch co-ordinator who will record any incidents and regularly report back to Pc Knight.

There will also be special Hospital Watch signs, posters and stickers displayed around the hospital, its grounds and car parks.

Mrs Sharon Martin, neighbourhood watch co-ordinator for Wolverhampton East, said: "Hospital Watch is a joint initiative between police and hospital chiefs to crack crime, improve security and reduce fear of crime."

Hospital Watch will be launched by Supt Trudie Kerr from Wednesfield police station, Supt John Colston from Bilston Street police station and representatives of the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust.

A mobile body scanner, costing more than pounds 1 million, has gone on the road for patients in Kidderminster.

The mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner arrived at Kidderminster General Hospital yesterday ready to accept its first patients from the town. The unit, one of four now in use in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, enables patients referred for a major body scan by consultants to have one carried out locally.

Until now patients in the Kidderminster area have had to travel to the Royal Orthopaedic and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals in Birmingham.

Dr Umesh Udeshi, clinical director for radiology at Kidderminster, said: "I am delighted that we can now offer this service locally and I am looking forward to working with the new scanner."

Housed in a 42 ft, 20 ton vehicle, the scanner will visit the Kidderminster site regularly.

It is owned by the Gloucestershire Magnetic Resonance Imaging Service, a medical charity whose service was introduced to hospitals in that county in 1993.

Now the four vehicles meet the growing demand from hospitals.
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Author:Aston, Paul
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 14, 1999
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