BOSSES at Stafford Hospital confirmed today that plans were on track to reopen the A&E overnight on June 11.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust’s board recommended reopening the unit provided a set of criteria, including adequate medical staffing in senior, middle grade and nursing roles, were all met to the board’s satisfaction.
The board heard today that while one of the six senior emergency medicine clinicians recruited had tendered their resignation this still left the trust within the required number for that position.
But chief operating officer Maggie Oldham told the meeting that while she was pleased with the progress, the emergency department remained relatively untested as they were currently operating under less pressure due to the limited opening times.
“They are essentially a brand new team who aspire to be a high performing team, but that will take some time,” she said. “It won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen by the June 11.”
She said the new staff were “nervous” about the possibility of high levels of patients when they reopened and how that would effect the performance targets they would be expected to achieve.
The A&E has been closed from 10pm until 8am since December and was originally scheduled to reopen in March.
The trust will now leave the final decision on whether to reopen the A&E overnight to Staffordshire’s Commissioning Board in a meeting scheduled for May 8.