STAFFORD health chiefs made the decision not to reopen the town’s A&E after “stumbling” on a better system.
Outlining future plans for healthcare in the area, Dr Ken Deacon, medical director for the Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs, said, for now, the restricted service would not change.
“The department will continue to operate for 14 hours a day as a consultant led and largely consultant delivered service, but overnight the handful of patients who go to other hospitals will continue to do so,” said Dr Deacon. “That decision really has been made, partly through serendipity that while the department has been closed overnight, we have sort of stumbled on a better model of care.”
He said reopening 24 hours a day would mean returning to junior doctors running the service unsupervised overnight and “dilute” the service the hospital could offer.
Dr Deacon said GPs would retain the right to admit patients locally, but confirmed there would not be a walk-in service at the A&E department between 10pm and 8am.
He added in December a pilot scheme would be see ambulance crews consulting doctors at the hospital over individual cases to assess where they might be treated most appropriately with select cases admitted to the hospital.
Talking after the meeting Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said: “I hate the lack of clarity, we haven’t had clarity.
“People want to know where they’re going to be able to get treatment.”