STAFFORD Hospital bosses have broken their silence over what healthcare services they think are essential to the people of the area in the future.
Speaking at a meeting of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust board, chief executive Lyn Hill-Tout said her and her colleagues had ‘kept their powder dry’ up until now regarding the second stage of regulator Monitor’s review into what services should be provided locally in the future.
“The board has now discussed and formed a view about which services are required in Stafford and Cannock and have made their views known to Monitor’s Contingency Planning team,” she said. “The board’s view is that emergency and urgent care is needed at Stafford.
“The emerging plans to develop an emergency and urgent care service is the right direction of travel, particularly in light of the commissioners decision not to recommission a 24/7 A&E.”
She said it was necessary to see some further development in community and primary care services in order for patients to better access emergency and urgent care and avoid emergency care admissions allowing people to receive more care in the community.
“As far as maternity care goes, we believe both obstetrics and midwife-led care should continue at Stafford.”
Mrs Hill-Tout said a number of clinical services currently provided by the trust needed to be networked with other hospitals in order to ensure their continued sustainability.
“A health care presence is required at Cannock Chase Hospital, albeit the services may need to change,” she said. “The premises do not necessarily need to be owned or operated by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.”
She said the board also saw a need to consider transport and links to community and social services in the planning of any changes.
Mrs Hill-Tout added she thought there was confusion from the public about whether it was the trust that was conducting the service review and reiterated that it was Monitor.
“This is not our process,” she said. “This is being done to us through the Health and Social Care Act legislation.”
Non Executive director Dennis Heywood said: “I just feel that we are not being embraced in this whole discussion about what services are going to be delivered.
“You could argue that Stafford’s healthcare economy is in meltdown at the moment.
“I just think it’s fundamentally wrong and Monitor need to be held to account for this.”