HERE'S a look back at the time Tony Blair visited the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in April 2005. 

Not everyone was pleased with the former Prime Minister's appearance at the Alex on Monday, April 18. 

This is the full story from the Wednesday, April 20, 2005, edition of the Advertiser:

The whirring of rotor blades announced the arrival of the Prime Minister by helicopter at the Alexandra Hospital on Monday.

Tony Blair was accompanied by his wife, Cherie, as he toured the hospital’s oncology department and new MRI suite.

The Prime Minister spoke to reporters about the multi-million pound debt facing Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the Alexandra.

But he said trust finances always varied from year to year, adding: “They will go into deficit one year and then come out of it the next because later, they receive large amounts of funding.

“If you speak to members of this trust I think you’ll find they’re satisfied with this.”

But not everybody welcomed the Prime Minister’s visit. Linda Garrod, of Frankton Close, Matchborough West, attempted to pick up two elderly relatives from the hospital but found the entrance blocked.

Mrs Garrod said: “Blair’s got legs so why couldn’t he use them? These were sick people being told they had to walk to the car park. It was a shambles with no thought for the patients. I’m going to write a letter of complaint to him and the hospital.”

Redditch Advertiser: