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Stafford Hospital campaigners 'not optimistic' about final report on future of Mid Staffs

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

By Robin Scott

1267084-HJ_SNCL300713Stafford Hosp-11
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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to retain vital acute services in Stafford admitted they were 'not optimistic' leading up to the publication of the final report on the future of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (MSFT).

On Tuesday, Trust Special Administrators (TSA) at MSFT will submit their plans to healthcare regulator Monitor who will publically publish the report the following day.

Members of campaign group Support Stafford Hospital told the Newsletter while they hoped the public response in opposition to the draft proposals would factor into the report, they feared the decision had already been made.

A member of staff at the trust, Michael Weetman said: "I, and many of my colleagues who have all worked so hard, fear for the future of acute patients in Mid Staffs.

"Let's see if anyone from the TSA has listened to us or really accepted the fact we now have a good hospital.

"Or will it be a fait accompli? I'm not optimistic. Vibes within the hospital don't feel good. We're losing too many good people."

Campaigner Sue Wyke, said she hoped the TSA would reward the hard work that had gone into turning Stafford Hospital around by retaining acute services in the county town.

"This is our NHS. If we lose these services now it will send a message out to the whole country that it is pointless to work hard and that we the tax-payers have no voice!

"On a good day I think they just can't ignore so many people and will do the best they can within the resources they have, but I struggle to understand just how that can be achieved in such austere times. My gut instinct is fear mixed with a little bit of hope."

Stafford Borough Councillor Chris Baron, an active member of the campaign group, said members of the campaign group would continue fighting indefinitely.

She invited representatives of Monitor, Prime Minister David Cameron and health secretary Jeremy Hunt to visit Stafford Hospital themselves.

"Be warned," she said. "We will not go away."

Another campaign member, Donna Brand Hickey, said she feared the results of the TSA's proposals to remove maternity services and in-patient paediatric care from Stafford Hospital would have devastating consequences.

"A life is worth more than money," she said. "Please someone have sense. We need to give in Stafford. We need acute beds. We need to keep children safe. We all need to feel safe here in Stafford, not travel 20 miles in labour or with sick children."

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