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Stafford Hospital protest: "community spirit in action", campaign leader tells TV

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 22, 2014

  • Cheryl Porter is interviewed by BBC reporter Liz Cropper

  • The Stafford Hospital protest camp

  • Kate Godfrey cooks breakfast for the campers

  • Supplies donated to the camp by well-wishers

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Protesters camping out at Stafford Hospital are today expecting visits from campaigners at other NHS trusts facing cutbacks.

And the protest is continuing to grow after it was featured on BBC Midlands Today yesterday evening, which filmed the camp and broadcast a live interview with Support Stafford Hospital campaigner Cheryl Porter.

Mrs Porter, from Brocton, described the camp in the hospital grounds as “community spirit in action”.

“It is sad that we have to take this action to make our views heard,” she said. “We are gravely concerned about the impact on the whole Stafford area if services are lost at our hospital – but no-one is listening to us.”

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Campaigners say the shake-up of NHS services when the Mid Staffs Trust is dissolved in November will put lives at risk if crucial services – including maternity and paediatrics – are moved to Stoke or Wolverhampton.

Protestors from Lewisham and Charing Cross Hospitals – who are fighting similar battles over services – were due to visit the Stafford camp today.

And Stafford’s Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Kate Godfrey – who spent the night at the camp and was busy frying bacon for the campers this morning – was expecting to brief Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham about the protest over the phone later in the day.

Ms Godfrey is also putting together an appeal against the High Court’s refusal of her bid for a judicial review of the decision to dissolve the trust.

She said the court’s grounds for refusing the appeal appeared “muddled and confused”.

“One reason they gave was that a Support Stafford Hospital campaigner had also applied for a judicial review,” she said. “That seems a ludicrous reason for turning it down. It sets a dreadful precedent and seems to say that no one can complain about anything if someone else is making the same complaint.”

Ms Godfrey is also battling the court’s decision to award costs of over £3,000 against her.

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