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Calls for clarity over Stafford Hospital's future

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

MP Jeremy Lefroy

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STAFFORD’S MP is calling for greater clarity on what powers the Secretary of State for Health has to amend proposals for the future of a hospital.

Jeremy Lefroy is tabling an amendment to the Government’s Care Bill.

He said: “As we await the decision of the Secretary of State regarding the proposals put forward regarding Stafford Hospital, I have heard different interpretations of the powers that Mr Hunt has to change the proposals.

“One interpretation recently said that he can only accept or reject the proposals. This interpretation is too inflexible and denies the right of the SoS to make improvements for the users of services within the overall context of Monitor’s recommendations.

“I would contend that he has duties and hence powers under Sections 1, 2 and 4 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which override other inflexible interpretations of S177 of the act. I am now seeking cross party support for the amendment in order that we can clarify the situation.

“I am also continuing to strongly make the case that Mr Hunt can make amendments to the proposals for Stafford Hospital as put forward by Monitor.”

Calls for clarity were also made by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham today, in reference to future plans for Stafford Hospital, when he visited Stafford to meet nursing and midwifery students and staff.

Mr Burnham said: “We need a decision that is fair to the people of Stafford but I am not sure what is on the table now is that.

“It is very unclear at the moment. We are meant to be two weeks away from a major decision about the hospital’s future but I think there needs to be more clarity on the plans.”

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