A TRIO of Staffordshire MPs have written an open letter in order to express their concerns over the ongoing developments at troubled Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Following news an expert team employed by independent healthcare regulator Monitor had declared the hospital trust “unsustainable in its current form” Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy, Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley and Stone MP Bill Cash issued the following letter:
We wish to make it clear how important we see it that emergency, acute and elective services continue to be provided from Stafford and Cannock hospitals for the people of our area.
The argument that the same services could be provided by other hospitals in the region does not bear scrutiny. All our neighbouring hospitals are under pressure, in particular since the number of beds at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire was reduced through the new building. To think that they could cope with another 50,000 A&E attendances, 20,000 emergency admissions or 38,000 elective and obstetric admissions per year is fanciful. On top of that, there are more than 200,000 outpatient attendances.
That is today. The growth and ageing of our population means that the need for emergency, acute and elective services will inevitably increase, despite the important steps being taken to treat more people in the community. The number of those aged 75 and over will double by 2035 while those aged 60+ will increase by nearly 50%.
It makes no sense for people to have to travel much further for their treatment, particularly when they are elderly. We completely accept that the most specialised care must be carried out in tertiary centres where clinicians have the most experience and outcomes are better. But that is only a small percentage of patient care and much of it has, such as acute stroke, major heart attacks, major trauma and vascular surgery, has already gone to those centres.
We must never forget the distress and pain which many patients and their loved ones have gone through. But, without being in any way complacent, it is important to recognise that there have been major improvements in care and safety. In addition, the Trust now meets all national waiting time standards for A&E and operations. It is vital that we find a way to build on this work and reach our goal of having health services for all of the highest quality with care and compassion at their heart.
Jeremy Lefroy MP
Aiden Burley MP
Bill Cash MP