RUGELEY’S prospective Labour parliamentary candidate has warned the closure of Stafford’s A&E department will cost lives.
Councillor Janos Toth said this could be the first step towards completely running down services at the beleaguered hospital.
His comments come after the Mid Staffordshire Commissioning Board made the decision not to reopen Stafford’s A&E department, closed since last December, despite the hospital’s trust board saying all the criteria for reopening had been met, or would be met through mitigation.
“A full time A&E department is essential for a well run hospital,” said Mr Toth. “Closing the A&E overnight will mean that people in Cannock Chase, Stafford and the surrounding areas will have to travel to Wolverhampton, Walsall, Burton, Stoke or Telford.
“When people need urgent care a journey of just a few more miles can make a difference to their chance of survival.
He said the decision condemned hospital services in Staffordshire to “death by a thousand cuts”, warning that the closure would make it harder to attract clinical staff and maintain services in the future.
“We already have a 20,000 strong petition that I and others are taking to Downing Street next week,” he said. “The view of the community must be heard and this unilateral decision without reference to local people should be reversed.”