A HOSPITAL association has been wound up and will cease trading by the end of the calendar year after helping residents for 'nearly 100 years'.

Worcestershire Hospital Contributors Association, now trading under Orchard Healthcare, based at Worcester House, St Mary's House, Worcester, has voted to wind itself up.

On November 3, a Special General Meeting was held and it was decided to dissolve the Association in accordance with paragraph 14 of the constitution (as amended) with effect from December 31 'or as soon as practicable thereafter'.

It states that the Association shall only be dissolved or its affairs wound up on a resolution to dissolve passed at a Special General Meeting called for this purpose.

Such a resolution must have the approval of at least two-thirds of the membership present (in person or by proxy) and voting.

In the event of a resolution to dissolve being passed the Executive Committee shall apply the assets of the Association. 

Once all liabilities fees and charges have been discharged and, provided there are assets remaining, the Executive Committee shall distribute any surplus to the current members of the Association in proportion to their contributions over the previous 10 years.

With effect from December 31, the WHCA will cease trading and cease taking subscriptions after November 30.

Worcester Hospital Contributors Association (WHCA), now trading as Orchard Healthcare, has been in existence for nearly 100 years since it was formed in 1921 to provide funds to run hospitals in the Worcestershire area.

When the NHS was formed in 1948, Orchard Healthcare health cash plans were set up to help individuals to manage the costs of basic healthcare.

Orchard Healthcare describes itself as a 'not for profit organisation' with all the funds used for the benefits of its members, providing financial assistance for individuals to help meet the needs of everyday healthcare costs.

After providing massive funding for the county`s hospitals in the years up to the launch of the NHS in 1948, the organisation turned towards the provision of a wide range of convalescence and medical benefits for local working people employed by the county`s leading employers.

They provided employees 'prompt access to treatment to speed up diagnosis, treatment, and after care for employees with health issues which can lead to long term absenteeism'.

Orchard Healthcare says it aims to provide a wide range of benefits at low cost to help employees in physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractice and acupuncture.

We have approached Orchard Healthcare for a comment.