STAFFORD Hospital should be handed back to the people to run, the county’s former ambulance chief claims.
Speaking exclusively to the Newsletter’s Gail Atkinson, Roger Thayne, former chief executive of Staffordshire Ambulance Service, said it should not be left to a “faceless” unaccountable body to run the service.
Mr Thayne ran a hospital in the Falklands and has offered his expertise free of charge to put the hospital in the ownership of the people of the borough.
“It’s appalling to take our general hospital away from us because that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “I’m not happy with the Monitor decision. We should be entitled to a district hospital. If the NHS can’t provide it then give it back and let us run it.
“It’s not up to them to say we shouldn’t have acute services. We should say to Monitor if you can’t provide those services give them to us and we will provide them.”
Mr Thayne said taking away the hospital’s emergency department would lead to further decline.
“I’m sure if local people felt that the hospital belonged to them there would be a lot more support for it. You would still get paid by the NHS for those patients you treated. What would be different is you would have far more people prepared to put money into that hospital. Currently it appears it’s owned by Monitor.
“We really need a call to the people of Stafford. Do we have to put up with this. Are we going to sit back and just let them take our hospital away. At least we should have the ability to have a go. We shouldn’t just let this faceless organisation which appears to have caused the problems
previous Labour Government. I have been pursuing this matter since I was elected and I am pleased that the Govern- ment has kept its word.
“This will be a great boost to the town and we need to make sure we are ready.
“On Tuesday in the House of Commons I asked the Defence Secretary for confirmation that funding will now be released so that the new accommodation on the MoD site can begin.
“He gave me that assurance and this will be a welcome boost for local firms competing for those contracts.”
in the first place by saying to become a foundation trust you have to concentrate on financial targets.”
He said the hospital should learn from hospices about caring for patients.
“It’s not difficult. You have a basic need to care for the people you are looking after. It’s not a difficult thing to do - as we can see from the hospices. You never hear about the hospice in Stafford being dirty or patients not being cared for.
“I don’t think remaining in the NHS being managed by Monitor is the answer. They clearly haven’t got the concerns of the people of Stafford high on their list.
“We need people who need to use that hospital to be running it and making sure we have a hospital to be proud of .”