THE battle to retain Stafford Hospital’s services must not be at the expense of Cannock Hospital, an MP has said, in the wake of fears about the Chase site’s future.
A petition signed by more than 2,000 people calling for the safeguarding of Cannock Hospital was presented at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust’s annual meeting on Monday.
Later that day Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy, addressing the first meeting of a new working group formed to engage with Monitor’s review of the trust, stressed “we are not here to say ‘save Stafford, close Cannock’.
Fears about Cannock Chase Hospital’s future were sparked by the Trust’s plans to close its canteen, meaning patients’ meals will be prepared in Stafford.
Trust bosses have also ratified plans to close Stafford Hospital’s public restaurant Nightingales from 7pm to 8.30am weekdays and all weekend and the two initiatives will collectively save Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust more than £500,000 a year.
Cannock Chase Council leader George Adamson, who presented the Cannock Hospital petition at Monday’s annual trust meeting, received a round of applause when he said: “People worked for many years to get a hospital in Cannock. We are not prepared to accept any board putting our services at risk.”
He added: “While we do accept the trust needs to reduce costs we feel it is putting patients at risk jeopardising the future of Cannock. We want services here.”
Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley has set up a working group to discuss the long term future of the hospital.
Notes presented to Monday’s Stafford Hospital Working Group meeting by Mr Lefroy stated Cannock Hospital was “currently running at some 40 per cent capacity”.
“It makes sense for this working group to liaise with (the Cannock group) based on the firm principle that both Stafford and Cannock hospitals are vital and must remain open,” the report added.