VOLUNTEERS are queuing up to help as the campaign to save Stafford Hospital gathers pace.
From next week Support Stafford Hospital which is backed by the Newsletter - will have a shop in the Guildhall Centre as its base - and dozens of people have offered to man the facility.
The shop will feature a wall of photographs of babies born over the years at the hospital as a protest about the recommended closure of the maternity unit.
Volunteers who attended the group’s first meeting this week stepped up to offer their help at the shop and will attend a training session on Monday.
Downloadable posters will be put on the campaign website to promote a campaign march from the town centre at 2pm on April 20.
Campaigners say the hospital is being used as a “guinea pig” and prototype for the future shape of the NHS across the country.
Cheryl Porter, one of the campaign organisers, urged people to fight for the hospital.
“It’s gathering pace. We have got a lot of volunteers but we need more. We need thousands on this march.
“We want posters everywhere. We want taxi drivers to have them in all their windows and we want them on buses.” Mrs Porter said it was “crazy” to recommend closing the hospital’s ICU unit.
“Our ICU is a centre of excellence. They are sending consultants from other hospitals to look at it yet in a few weeks they’re going to close it. It’s crazy.
“We are the first foundation trust to have this happen to them and they’re using us as a guinea pig and prototype.
What happens here in Stafford, the decisions they make about our services, is going to be used throughout the country.
There’s another 65 general hospitals that are earmarked to go the same way as us.
“It’s going to ricochet across the country like the black plague.” Anyone with photographs of babies they would like included on the wall should email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the campaign, including future meetings see the website at www.supportstaffordhospital.co.uk.