CALLING the Care Quality Commission in to inspect Stafford Hospital is a tacit admission of failure on the part of the trust special administrators running the hospital, according to a health campaigner and a local councillor.
The TSA should have taken action itself to address staffing problems, rather than handing the issue over to the CQC, borough councillor Ann Edgeller told the Newsletter.
And Cheryl Porter, a founder of the Support Stafford Hospital campaign group, claimed that years of hard work to improve the hospital under previous chief executive Lyn Hill-Tout had been undone since the TSA took over.
The duo were speaking after the CQC’s first public consultation meeting at the Kingston Centre on Monday evening, June 30.
The meeting, attended by around 150 members of the public, was called to get local feedback on safety and quality at Stafford Hospital before inspectors started their formal inspection the next day.
Members of the inspection team spoke to people in small groups and one-to-one to hear their recent experiences of hospital care.
Mrs Porter said she felt meeting had been worthwhile. “The people of Stafford are determined not to be ignored in this process,” she said.
“I feel it is due to public pressure that we are now getting this kind of openness. We have shown that we are not going to be pushed around.
“But I feel very angry that we have reached this stage. Stafford Hospital had made massive improvements, putting it in the top 15 in the country and Lyn Hill-Tout turned it into a fantastic place.
“But it has gone backwards since the TSA took over. They are not doing their job of managing it.”
And Councillor Edgeller added: “The TSA should take sole responsibility for what is happening at the hospital, and step up to the plate and manage it.
“If they are not doing their job properly they should be chucked out.”
She added that the CQC inspection should not be used as pretext for moving more services out of Stafford, or speeding up agreed service moves scheduled to take place over a two to three year period.
And she called on the CQC to look at the pressures already being faced by the Stoke and Wolverhampton hospitals, rather than looking at Stafford in isolation.