THE CONSULTATION into the reconfiguration of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust by administrators reached its halfway point this week.
To date administrators have spoken to more than 2,000 people at four public meetings, held eight meetings with staff from paediatrics, maternity, critical care, the surgical assessment unit and back-office services, as well as with13 key stakeholders including MPs, the Ministry of Defence, local councils and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee and the National Childbirth Trust, and sent out in excess of 50,000 copies of the consultation document and response forms.
Joint administrator Alan Bloom admitted the meetings and debates had been ‘lively’ with the questions aimed at the administrators ‘at times challenging’.
“We have welcomed this because our draft recommendations need to be tested.”
But campaigners from Support Stafford Hospital fighting the recommendations have called on the public to be even more vocal in their response to the plans.
Sue Hawkins said: “As the summer holiday period draws to a close and our children return to school we are asking our community to join us in a concerted effort to ‘have our say" over the draft proposals.
“We need to unite together again for the common goal of retaining acute services at Stafford Hospital.”
Mrs Hawkins said many of the people the campaign group had heard from felt the proposed changes were already ‘a done deal’.
“We as a community cannot believe this,” she said. “We must try to influence what will happen.
“It is vital that you take part in this consultation to give the administrators your opinions,” she said. “It is also vital that you tell your GP's why you want these services delivered at Stafford Hospital.
“Without the support of the Clinical Commissioning Groups, changes by the administrators to their draft proposal will not happen.
“We need GP's to stand up and represent the views of their patients.”
Mr Bloom said all the responses received would be consider and urged residents to respond by the deadline of midnight on October 1.
In the coming weeks administrators expect to talk to 15 community groups, attend a consultation meeting arranged by Jeremy Lefroy in Penkridge and meet other local MPs and CCGs.
Member of the public can respond to the consultation by completing the printed response form and returning it via Freepost envelope, online at the administrator’s website, by emailing email@example.com or writing to Freepost Plus RSGR-CRGE-EHLE, MSFT-TSA Consultation, Ipsos MORI, Research Services House, Elmgrove Road, Harrow, HA1 2QG.
Future consultation meetings will be held at Staffordshire County Showground on September 10 at 10am, Chase Leisure Centre in Cannock at 7pm on September 12, Lea Hall Social Club in Rugeley at 7pm on September 18 and again at Chase Leisure Centre at 2pm on September 19.
In addition Healthwatch Stoke will hold a public meeting Mitchell Arts Centre on Broad Street Hanley at 6pm on September 17 which the administrators will attend. Places for this event are limited and can be pre-booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01782683080.