STAFFORD Labour candidate Kate Godfrey is calling on the town’s MP Jeremy Lefroy to step down and trigger a by-election so that local people can have their say on the future of Stafford Hospital.
Ms Godfrey claims that holding a by-election before the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is due to dissolve in November would make Westminster sit up and listen to local concerns about the controversial shake-up of health services in Staffordshire.
“With three months to go before trust dissolution, it’s time for Jeremy Lefroy to admit that his government don’t listen to him, won’t listen to him, and are as hellbent on downgrading our hospital as ever,” Ms Godfrey said.
“The 250,000 patients who use Stafford Hospital each year suspect this has been a done deal since the Health Secretary sent in the TSA. And yet, Mr Lefroy has one last chance to put the hospital before his government.”
She said that a by-election would be an opportunity to debate not only the future of Stafford Hospital, but also other changes to the NHS, including the potential outsourcing of cancer and end of life care in Staffordshire in a £1.2 billion contract.
‘With the 2015 election to be fought above all on the NHS, this is a fight - and a constituency - that the government can’t afford to lose,” Ms Godfrey added.
“Trigger a by-election now, and Mr Lefroy could win a reprieve not just for Stafford Hospital, but for all of the hospitals scheduled for downgrade between now and the election.
“For a long time now, he has said that he values Stafford hospital above his job. Let him show it, and by stepping down, step up for Stafford and the NHS.”