GOVERNORS at Stafford Hospital have said they are ‘incensed’ that ‘reckless changes’ recommended by healthcare regulator Monitor will have a ‘major effect’ on healthcare.
Talking to the Newsletter, lead governor Mike Fowkes said: “Proposals to strip Stafford and Cannock Chase Hospitals of important fundamental services by transferring all births and emergency surgery to other hospitals and downgrading A&E has come as a shock to governors, especially at a time when the standard of care has improved beyond recognition.”
Mr Fowkes added governors were ‘very disappointed’ the recently appointed GP Clinical Commissioning Groups had not been strong in their negotiations with the expert team employed by Monitor responsible for putting forward the list of recommendations.
“From the outset Monitor informed governors that the GPs would have a significant role to play in the future of Stafford and Cannock Chase Hospital and would inform the review team of clinical services that would need to be protected for the benefit of patients,” he said. “It can only be presumed from the report that our local GPs support transferring clinical services to other hospitals.”
He said governors were also concerned the criticism and adverse publicity still being published about the negligence and poor care which took place at Stafford Hospital was having a detrimental effect on the morale of doctors and nurses who had ‘transformed’ safety and care in recent years.
“Governors will continue to meet with the Monitor team to challenge their proposals and fight to retain services,” said Mr Fowkes. “They also recognise the dedication and work that is being undertaken by local community groups to keep clinical services locally.
“Everyone has a part to play in saving our hospitals including critics of the past.”
Mr Fowkes congratulated Julie Bailey and members of Cure the NHS for their hard work and courage in exposing the poor care and negligence that took place at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009 and called on the group to use their energy and influence when talking to the NHS hierarchy to support the local community in fighting for the future of its hospital.
Ms Bailey said: "Cure the NHS have been campaigning for five years for patient safety not only at Mid Staffs but throughout the whole of the NHS.
"Our group will continue to campaign for sustainable and safe services for everyone who uses it".
Mr Fowkes said another major concern of the governors was the suggestion Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust could in the future be merged with another trust.
“This is at a time when the hospitals in Stoke, Wolverhampton and Walsall are already facing financial sustainability and quality of care issues,” he said. “All this does not help in maintaining public confidence of working with other local Trusts, especially at a time when the local community is being informed care and quality must be at the forefront of services in a target led NHS.”