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Fight continues on future of paediatrics

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

Comments (3)

THE Health Secretary's decision to dissolve the Mid Staffs Trust and put Stafford and Cannock hospitals together with the Stoke and Wolverhampton Trusts respectively was as expected, writes Jeremy Lefroy, MP for Stafford.

Both hospitals should have strong futures as part of major organisations.

Stafford and Cannock will continue as now to provide most services locally. There will be a review into whether consultant-led maternity services can continue at Stafford (as opposed to the proposed midwife-led unit).

A 14 hour/day A&E will stay, although serious emergency surgery will eventually be done at Stoke or Wolverhampton.

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Where I, along with several clinicians and my constituents, consider that the decision is particularly concerning is over paediatrics.

Children will continue to be seen through the paediatric assessment unit which will be open from 8am until 10pm instead of 24 hours; and the in-patient children's beds will eventually go.

I am not at all convinced that the local requirement for these services has been fully taken into account.

Some changes were necessary in children's services but these go too far.

I have therefore written to the Health Secretary with the evidence and asked him also to instruct NHS England to review consultant-led paediatric services along with maternity.

In the recent debate on the Francis Report, I called for cross-party work on the future of health services in England, working together with patient's organisations and the health professions.

I have also strongly urged that Trust Special Administrations are not used again to tackle problems in local health services.

There are better and more co-operative ways of doing so.

By the time this article appears, the contents of the Budget will be known.

The return to economic growth is welcome and vital for sustaining public services such as the NHS.

By 2015, the budget deficit will have halved as a percentage of GDP since 2010.

The work of restoring our public finances is far from over but we have made good progress.

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  • Staffpatient  |  March 22 2014, 1:41PM

    The figures do not add up but the patients will stack up because UHNS and New Cross are struggling. Travelling further with a sick child or a woman in labour is not realistic, it's down righ folly, that is if they can afford to use the services of either of those hospitals. This is not so much about patient care as getting UHNS out of debt, filling it's coffers so it can go supersized while the children and pregnant women suffer for it.

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  • Barry Davies  |  March 22 2014, 1:24PM

    It is clear that the whole process had nothing to do with the standards of care, and everything to do with paying the massive debts built up by UHNS. This is a simple matter of budget just as the case with Lewisham and will happen throughout the country. the answer will no doubt end up with the conlablibdum party deciding the only answer is privatisation. We now know the outcome of the budget and it shows how out of touch Gideon G. Osbourne is with reality, apparently the plebs only need a penny of beer and a cut in bingo tax to keep them happy whilst the rich get tax cuts and the opportunity to put their spare pennies into savings, I'm sure most people would have preferred a rebalancing of the NHS budget instead of leaving it underfunded due to the consistent cutbacks over the last few years. As for the alleged recovery and economic growth we are still worse off than in 2010, the figures don't add up.

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  • Phil Cazanne  |  March 22 2014, 12:59PM

    The healthcare needs of the local community are being ignored by those with their hands on the purse strings. The pressure that closing inpatient facilities for Consultant Led Midwifery and Paediatrics at Stafford and making all patients, family and friends travel to Stoke will have a serious impact on the ability of many to actually provide support to their loved ones. Recovery and wellbeing is enhanced by having such support, and asking a mother to choose between putting food on the table for her kids or affording the cost of travel to Stoke to see her poorly child, or a partner to visit after a birth will cause major stress and distress for many. Shame on those who think this is the way forward, it isn't, it is going back decades!

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