STAFFORD Hospital's A&E will not reopen overnight as planned health bosses announced today.
A meeting, yesterday, of the Mid Staffordshire Commissioning Board, chaired by GPs from the Cannock Chase and Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Groups yesterday decided while progress had been made they remained concerned about the sustainability of the service.
The A&E was closed overnight in December 2011over fears around the safety of the service.
At the time Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust executives agreed a number of criteria that would need to be met for the A&E to reopen.
A hospital trust board meeting last week heard that all but two of those criteria had been met, and those that hadn’t would be “through mitigation”.
A spokesman for the commissioning board said they remained concerned about the sustainability of a 24/7 service and the dilution of senior staff presence should the department reopen 24/7.
She said: “Much has been learned from the closure period which would influence the design of a 24/7 emergency and urgent care service which will see elements set up as a pilot by December 2012.
“Commissioners are clear that a new 24/7 model of emergency and urgent care is what they want Stafford Hospital to provide for local people,” she said. “During the closure the Hospital has continued to accept children, maternity and GP assessed patients overnight and the clinical teams are now planning how the 12/15 patients each night could be treated at Stafford Hospital.”
She said this would be a part of a pilot programme to safely test the thinking of the commissioners and clinicians on a proposed future model, based on the lessons learnt from the temporary closure.