RUMOURS that A&E opening hours at Stafford Hospital were facing another cut this week have been denied by managers.
Chief executive Maggie Oldham said the safety of services at the hospital was continually under review by the Sustaining Services Board, a network group of local healthcare providers and regulators. But she added: “At present, no decision has been made regarding A&E opening hours.”
The hospital's A&E department is currently open from 8am to 10pm, with emergencies taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire outside of those times.
Support Stafford Hospital campaigner Cheryl Porter said she had been told A&E hours were being reduced to just 12 a day, with the overnight closure set to extend from 7pm to 7am. She said she understood the decision was being taken as a result of the current CQC inspection looking at staffing levels and patient safety.
“We are really disappointed and sad that we are back in this situation," she said. "The trust special administrators (TSA) are not capable of managing the hospital and it needs to be addressed. I think Monitor should be asked to address it.”
The emergency department has been closed overnight between 10pm and 8am since December 2011.